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Monday, September 13, 2010

Autumn Leaves

Fall seems to be hitting early in Michigan this year, and here’s me, not complaining a bit. I love the autumn. I’m not sure why this is, particularly. It isn’t childhood memories of raking leaves (borrrrring) and I certainly don’t look forward to Michigan winters. So why do I find the fall one of the most invigorating, sensual times of the year, and frequently, for me, one of the most productive? Here are a few possibilities:

I really don’t like the oppressive summer heat. Lowering temperatures means not sweating all the time and I can open my windows again.

Late summer/early autumn is the time in Michigan with the most fresh fruits and vegetables available. I love that. Oooh, might be time to hit the orchard and cider mill next weekend.

The constancy of change. I seem to have a natural preference for the transition seasons of spring and fall, rather than the extremes of summer or winter. When I lived in southern California, one of the things I missed was the simple fact of change. I think it reminds me that life keeps moving on.

Start of a new academic year. I spent a lot of years of my life dealing with schools in one form or another. (Student, grad student, faculty, substitute teacher, parent, etc.) So I naturally tend to think of the autumn as the real start of a new year. Just looking at all of the school supplies in the store can make me giddy.
The Michigan Renaissance Festival: occurs every August-October. (This pic is from a few years ago) and is always one of the highlights of my year.

Birthdays and the lead up to Christmas: from August through December is/was crazy in my family. My mom and youngest nephew were born in August, but now that Mom’s gone and Scott lives a thousand miles away, we don’t do much for that. My dad’s birthday is this week (he’ll be 86!) and then in October is my eldest son and eldest brother. (Also my older nephew, but he lives out west, too, so we don’t get to party with him.) Halloween is a big deal at my house, and always loads of fun. November is my younger son, and was the younger of my brothers—yeah, the fall was always expensive for my parents! Followed by Thanksgiving, then of course in December comes Christmas—the biggest party of the year for someone like me who never quite grew up. So fall is busy, exciting, and full of cool stuff.

This year, the fall will hold a couple other bonuses. My second great-niece is expected to arrive in October. (And I’m sulking, because I haven’t even gotten to meet the first one yet.) Also from Oct. 7-10, I’ll be in Ohio at Romanticon, with bunches of other Ellora’s Cave readers and authors, having a blast. (The picture is from last year’s conference.) Oh—and my new family room/office is actually underway. You can check out construction pictures on my blog from last week.

Add in deadlines, book releases, and all the other ups and downs of life, and fall is a busy, happy time. And yeah, somehow, the cooler air even smells better! Now off to find that apple cider I was thinking about…


Tina Donahue said...

Great post, Cindy.

Living in Palm Springs with its 127 degree heat at the height of summer, I LIVE, LIVE, LIVE for fall and its 90 degree heat - a veritable cold wave. :)

Paris said...

I loved the post, Cindy! Who is that handsome kilted hunk standing next to you:-)

I've always loved the change of seasons in Kansas but yeah, I could do without the extremes. Sounds like you have a very busy rest of the year planned, have fun at Romanticon!

Liz Fichera said...

I love the Fall too, but I don't get much of it in the desert. I have to drive north a couple of hours to see trees and changing leaves. For me, Fall means cooler mornings and those have definitely arrived.

Katalina Leon said...

Autumn is my favorite season, there's just something so lovely about it. It feels like the true year marker.
Our Renaissance Fair is this Sunday and I'll be getting out the family wench gear, knives and armor... lol
PS you look very wenchable m'lady and the lord looks plum dapper in a kilt! lol

Anny Cook said...

In the 50s here today so fall is definitely arriving! Great post!

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Sweet! When I lived in Iowa, every fall was fresh-pressed apple cider time. I miss that.

Toni Anderson said...

I used to love Fall but living in the cold white north it now makes me know winter is fast approaching and though I love the crispness, it doesn't last long enough! I love the family photos Cindy :) You are lucky to have so many relatives nearby.

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Thanks everyone. Actually, relatives nearby is pretty much limited to me, my husband & kids, my dad, and one brother. The group picture of women is from Romanticon last year. Authors: Regina Carlysle, Desiree Holt, Tessie Bradford, Dee Brice, Anny Cook & moi, in no particular order since I can't see the picture as I type this.

Molly Daniels said...

Okay; I had almost everyone correctly identified:)

I keep telling myself 'Next year...' when I think about RC.

And I'm with you on Fall=Beginning of the year. Some of my best work is written as soon as the kids return to school:)

Kathy Ivan said...

Great post, Cindy. I absolutely love Fall weather. The evenings start to get cooler (and living in Texas we long for cooler weather after the long span of 100+ days). I love being able to go out on the back patio in the evenings and not suddenly be drowning in my own sweat.

Sounds like you have a very busy fall lined up. Have fun.

eleristone said...

Loved the post and the pics but I have to say autumn is bittersweet for me. I like going to the orchard for apples and sleeping w/ the windows open but I HATE knowing that winter is coming. (In IA it falls hard.)

Carolyn Matkowsky said...

Good post, Cindy. I live on the East Coast and we had a sweltering summer this year, which I loved. Now the mornings and nights are cooler and I'm sad. I agree with everything you said about Fall. I love the fresh apples and cider and pumpkin pie ice cream and all the family birthdays that start in July to the end of the year. But I love summer and Fall saddens me because it means summer is over.

Loved the pictures. Enjoy Romanticom.

Carolyn/Cara Marsi

Celtic Chick said...

Hi Cindy,

I enjoyed this post. Fall is my favorite time of year too even though we only get a brief one here in the AZ desert. I do miss living where the leaves changed like they do in Michigan.

Also, thanks for the birthday wishes on Romance Books R Us

Marianne Stephens said...

I love autumn and all the colors! I know what you mean about living in CA...for those two years I lived there, I missed the seasonal changes that occur. Always loved the upper East Coast and how you could drive from one state to the next and see nothing but beautiful colors on trees.
Nice costume...but we already know how talented you are at creating them!

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Thanks everyone. A disclaimer, Marianne--the top half of that costume, I didn't make. It's a tooled leather corset--way beyond my skills, and I even got lazy and bought the chemise underneath. :-)

Jenny Schwartz said...

Your autumn is my spring. Here is Australia it's wildflower season. I really have to get out there, take photos and share them. I don't think I have a favourite season (though I'd hate to live somewhere where you couldn't watch the seasons change). Whatever the current season, I always think the next one will be better :) I can't tell if that means I'm either continually dissatisfied with life, or way too enthusiastic about time passing! Loved your post, Cindy.

Amber Skyze said...

Great post Cindy. I'm a summer person, but once I accept it's gone I really do enjoy Autumn and the cool nights. :)

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