Summer move forward and stitch me the fabric of fall
Wrap life in the brilliance of death to humble us all
How sweet is the day
I'm craving a darkness
As I sit tucked away with my back to the wall
~ Vienna Teng, Drought
Fall has finally arrived in Southern California. Truly, I think it might have been waiting for me, as the weather turned just as soon as I decorated the mantle and added a few other autumnal touches to our home. We are experiencing cold nights and beautiful days, and Monday night we had our first fire of the season. It was so nice to gather in the living room and play a game of Yahtzee with a Java Log burning in the fireplace.
T-Guy remarked that it truly feels like fall, with the crisp chill that descends each evening and the quickly shortening days. I have to agree; I feel the pull inward, the in-breath after the expansion of spring and summer.
We are all fragile this week; my heart hurts and the tears come too easily. We lost our Girl Dog Tuesday, our faithful canine companion of 12 years. It is heartbreaking, and yet it grounds us in the reality of life. We are born, we live, we die. To die at home, in the arms of those we love, is peaceful, and I am glad that we were able to bring that to her. T-Guy, at 10.5, chose to be with us, and J-Baby, at 9.5, chose to stay in another room with the Big Dog. Afterward we had Big Dog come out and say goodbye.
I am naturally introverted and melancholic, and fall suits me well. As much as I love being in nature (and nature is gorgeous in fall) I love being home even more, and fall is a time to enjoy the comforts of home. I love to snuggle into my chair under a quilt and read a good book or magazine, or to knit for hours, sipping steaming mugs of sweet milky tea or hot frothy maple vanilla milk. I love to bake ~ fresh breads, cakes, cookies, muffins, scones, cinnamon rolls, and more. Homemade soups are a specialty of mine and in winter some of the heartier soups come from my pot ~ yellow split pea; bean and bacon; thick, creamy potato; delicious sweet-potato fennel, and chicken soups of all varieties. Plus stews made with grassfed beef and my homemade beef stock.
I tend to give up salads once the cold weather arrives; they simply hold no appeal and I transition to eating more roasted and sauteed vegetables. I really look forward to eating creamed kale. Likewise, I no longer enjoy cold sandwiches and find myself fixing grilled cheese on delicious homemade bread or quesadillas, the Mexican melted cheese sandwich that is so much a part of Californian cuisine. I love to put sliced Haas avocado into mine ~ it is incredible warm. A sort-of hot sandwich I also love is a BLA ~ bacon, lettuce, and avocado on toasted bread. I am allergic to tomatoes so I leave those off. When asked what my favorite lunch meat is I unabashedly answer bacon; sometimes it's hard to believe I was a vegetarian for 18 years.
So welcome fall; it is I who has been waiting for you.