Morning Star and Evening Fire

Autumn is my favorite time of year. I love the crisp mornings and breezy comfortable evenings. It reminds me of some of my favorite childhood things; perusing the pumpkin patch, tasting apple cider, jumping in giant piles of fallen leaves.

Autumn means I can finally start knitting again, after my summer hiatus. Plus I get to wear all the sweaters and hats I've made in the past. In fact, I'm quite fond of wearing a hat in September regardless of the temperature, just because it's September. And speaking of knits, it has been a season for hats already - I've made four this past month. My main interest in my knitting this year will be taming the "stash" in my studio - balls of yarn are taking over!

A few weeks ago, I stepped out the door to let the dog out, and was met by a beautiful site. A bright morning star was sitting in the sky, just above the tree line of my neighbor's yard. It's only for a few days in the fall when I'm greeted by this lovely barely-dawn skyline. By the next week, the days will shorten further, and it will be nearly dark when I wake up. Then we'll change the time, and I'll probably sleep through this skyline.

Autumn also means fair time, and the weather this year was more agreeable than some. I don't like going to the county fair when it's 90 degrees outside (I don't like leaving the house when it's that hot), and I remember a night at the fair several years ago that was so cold we all huddled around the fake fireplace at the propane company's booth.

I entered seven items in the fair this year, and was pleased with how they did. The committee actually made up a category for my handspun yarn, which won a blue ribbon! POSSLQ was very sweet and took pictures of all my entries on display.

One of my new favorite autumn traditions is the bonfire. I haven't had a birthday party in six years, so when I went a little crazy with the chainsaw this year, we decided to have a bonfire the weekend of my birthday. Most of the food we served was locally grown. The chili was based on beans I bought at the farmer's market, locally grown hamburger, tomatoes from the farm stand down the street, and seasonings either from my garden or the farmer's market. I made a sundried tomato spread using romas from my garden and pesto I had the joy of helping make a few months back.

The weather was perfect for a bonfire; dry for a few days before, sunny and breezy all day, with a lovely autumn chill in the evening air. Many of our close friends joined us, and we had the pleasure of watching our friends and family converse and get to know one another. One of the best birthdays I've had, I have to say.

My favorite thing about autumn is that it never overstays its welcome. Unlike the heat and humidity of August, or the cold, dreary days of late February, autumn sticks around just long enough that we fall in love. Autumn is a dynamic season, too. Each day brings slight changes, and October may blindside you with a blazing sun one day, frost on the grass the next. The fleeting nature of autumn makes me treasure the days I spend outside, because I know it won't be long until the steely skies of winter will greet me at dawn.


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