I love Fall--all damp earth and rubber wellies and wet dog. Its wood fired cinnamon scented yumminess. Its pumpkin flavored deliciousness. Its wool sweaters and down vests. Its greedy insistence on all the year’s best colors—pumpkin orange and cranberry red, and plum, and deep, deep browns. I. Love. Fall.
Something about it makes me pull out all my cookbooks. I want to spend every spare moment baking spiced cakes and standing over my red Dutch oven turning out hearty stews and soups with hunks of brown bread.
I tend to clean the house really well (who made the rule that Spring should get the best cleaning?). Organizing closets and throwing things away. Bringing out the sweaters and putting away the shorts. Well, who am I kidding really. I live in England. The sweaters are needed year round and I think I only wore one pair of my shorts twice this summer—and that was when I was home in Colorado.
Strangely I’m coming to appreciate the English ‘Autumn’ as they refer to it. At home Fall hits all of the sudden. The days are warm and the nights are crisp. The aspen leaves turn in September and everything is a blaze of color. We spend the weekends going to corn mazes and pumpkin farms and driving up Highway 285 to see the trees. We drink Pumpkin Spice Lattes and eat a lot of green chili and plan costumes for Halloween.
English Autumn comes on gradually. You wake nearly every morning to mist. The fog is ridiculously beautiful, but must be complained about incessantly. The leaves change slowly, slowly. Only small patches of yellowish leaves until a big storm hits much later in October and blows all the leaves off the trees. Until then there’s still so much green and the fall flowers are bright and pretty. Weekends are for wellie walks and roast dinners. We eat leeks and potatoes and thick pork sausages with gravy. London Starbucks baristas may say “Ew, NO! Pumpkin?!?!” when you ask for a Pumpkin Spice Latte, but there’s nothing like an English bitter ale on a cold, wet day (even if I am one of the only women drinking beer).
Here Autumn is marked by the length of days. They rapidly get shorter and shorter and even the boys note that it’s hard to tell when to get up because it’s all the sudden dark in the morning. Halloween is only barely celebrated, but I can’t wait for Bonfire Night and fireworks!
Fall is one of those halfway places. Where I long for the familiarity of my old home and all of my ‘old’ favorite things, and yet I revel in the comfort of my new home and all my ‘new’ favourite things. It’s funny to me how much I ache for Colorado this time of year and yet how dearly I love this little village.
Leave it to Fall to teach me to love this cold, damp country.