and all at once, summer collapsed into fall. Oscar Wilde

Tomorrow is the first day of Fall.  While the temperature may dip into the 40s overnight, we still have many days of 70 and 80 degree weather in the forecast, making me hesitate before pulling out my favorite sweaters.  Yet in mid-September I find myself peering out my windows searching for the first hint of red and yellow on the foliage below announcing the change of season. 

Autumn has always been Mr. Smith’s favorite time of year, and over the past 40 years, it has become mine. I love the coziness of it. Candles burning, tasty soups simmering for dinner, and the cinnamon smell of an apple pie in the oven.  Wilkes Barre is home to Wilkes University and King’s College.  I delight in the return of the students to town this time of year.  They bring a fresh energy to go with the crisp mornings. The bookstore/coffee shop where I often get a morning latte currently displays back to school supplies and all the college centric paraphernalia a student could want. Those fresh school supplies make me think of the quote from the movie You’ve Got Mail, “Don’t you love New York in the Fall? It makes me want to send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.”

When my boys were young their Fall was mainly focused on carving pumpkins and what costumes to pick for Halloween.

Emmet the shark and Elliot the dinosaur! Costumes made by moi circa 1986.

As they got older, Autumn revolved around soccer and marching band.  Moms and dads spent many an afternoon and evening tucked into the bleachers, cheering on our kids. When they moved on to college, we loved the Fall visit to the campus for Parent’s Weekend.  And before I knew it, Thanksgiving had become my favorite holiday with sons returning home for a long weekend which would be filled with family time, food, movies and talk.

Fall decorating no longer takes place on the scale it did when we were living in Indiana.  I no longer purchase mums, corn stalks, a bevy of pumpkins and bittersweet. But I still like to pay homage to this time of year.  Decorating with fall leaves and gourds is an obvious choice but arranging them in my cloche makes them special to me.

One evening very soon Mr. Smith will come home to the smell of something tasty and comforting in the oven, making our space smell delicious.  The candles will be lit, we’ll pour a glass of wine and reminisce a few moments about past autumns and all the family times.  Then we’ll look for a scenic fall foliage drive or pumpkin, apple, art festival for the weekend and toast this season of our lives.

C’est la vie.