With temps still in the high 80s, I am hesitant to declare autumn’s arrival down here in Georgia, but something in the air has definitely changed. Last night we were sitting outside chatting and I declared June and October my two favorite months of the year, with December a close third. This October is already looking to be a good one.
It’s was a busy summer on all fronts. Our little homestead did a whole lot of brewing and fermenting – beer, mead, kombucha, ginger beer, and a few veggie ferments. Andrew is making turmeric soda tomorrow. He bought me lots of soy beans to try my hand at soy milk and tofu but I haven’t gotten around to it. I’ve been preoccupied with keeping the ship running – that is my gift. I make sure the kitchen knives stay sharp (sharpening them by hand with a whetstone), I make sure all the CSA food gets either cooked or preserved, I bake the bread, I clean the home, I mend the clothes, I make the toothpaste and soap and laundry detergent and an array of cleaning solutions. And of course we continue to eat delicious farm fresh meals like tonight’s eggplant, tomato, and pepper stew. Nightcapped with half a chocolate-y craft brew.
But I also plan the travel and it was plentiful this summer. We kicked everything off with a weekend in Asheville followed by a backpacking trip in Pisgah with my brother; Memorial Day weekend at Andrew’s family’s lake house; Boone for the 4th of July with Andrew’s sister; caving in Northwest Georgia; a road trip to Michigan for my mum’s family reunion; a weekend here and there in Atlanta; a short visit home to Ohio for Labor Day; and the amazing summer-cap of a long weekend in Shenandoah National Park with my brother and his girlfriend. Sometimes travel can be exhausting. But I am reflecting on all this time away and feeling grateful – grateful to be young and able, to have the privilege, to have family and friends that love us and welcome us with open arms.
In the midst of all of this and the hottest, driest summer on record, I kinda let my garden go to shit. My tomatoes all got some early fungal wilt and my watermelons got big but were kinda tasteless. Luckily all the herbs, medicinals, and native wildflowers pulled through! Right now I have everything weeded and looking pristine. I am spreading homemade compost and planted my first bed of Burssels, carrots, and spinach. My heirloom garlic is in the fridge, waiting for cooler temps before it heads into the ground.
I’ve been a lot happier lately but more on that later. I feel different.
The other night I was laying out on our long, orange couch, sipping tea and reading Foxfire 1, listening to folk music. It was the first cool night and the old house was permeated by the feeling of autumn. I smiled and captured the moment, the feeling, of change, of shedding the sticky, hot, old self, of what it feels like to hold a good book and listen to good music and look over at the love of your life and have them smile back.
On Sunday we watched football with Jimmy and made autumn crafts. I picked up yarn in warm colors from the craft store, and we foraged the yard for good sticks to make God’s Eyes. I read the lore aloud while the boys dug into my famous healthy seven-layer dip. As you weave the yarn around the sticks, you say a prayer or a spell. You have an intent. I made two crafts. My first prayer was for our home to have good health – both physical and spiritual. My second prayer was for the Packers to have a good season.
Finally, Autumn, you have come. Cool mornings, warm tea, scarves, football, root vegetables, falling leaves, and fires.