Sunday, September 28, 2008

Autumn is a State of Mind

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it,
and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth
seeking the successive autumns. ~ George Eliot

When I first moved to southern California in February 1999, I applied for a position at a museum in Ventura. I was interviewed by the director and associate director, both of whom become dear friends after I got the job. They asked what I'd miss about living in Utah, and I immediately said, "Autumn. Not the winters that follow it - but definitely autumn." The associate director replied with a statement that has stuck with me through the years:

In California, autumn is a state of mind.

He was right about that!

I've learned over the years that we made not have the overt signs of autumn here, but autumn does occur. The leaves on the tree in our neighbor's yard turn red and gold, and flutter to the ground every October. There aren't a lot of trees here that do that, so it's a real treat to have one right across the street. The nights develop a nip in the air. Granted, it's not the nip of frost and snow, but it's a nip nonetheless!

Hey, we take our seasonal pleasures where we can find them, right?

I've really enjoyed bringing out the autumn decor this year. Little touches here and there that make me smile. I have the pumpkin (above) sitting on my dining room table, and these little spooky candles sitting in popcorn (thanks for the idea, Kelli!) in the kitchen window...

They shed a lovely glow at night...

Autumn is definitely my favorite season, and I've often wondered why. My husband much prefers summer and the long, warm evenings sitting outside. I like getting cozy on the couch, with a fire in the fireplace. I love cooking this time of year, making soups and stews. I may even get brave this year and try baking bread (but don't hold your breath!)

There is just something about this time of year... maybe it goes back to when we were kids and we'd head off to school in September. Maybe it's the ancient celebration of the harvest. Perhaps it's knowing that autumn's glory is a harbinger of the winter to follow. Whatever it is, September and October are a lovely time of year for me, leading into the holidays and the joy they bring.

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There are two great giveaways going on right now in blogland ...

Carole over at Pea's Corner is giving away some absolutely darling Halloween decorations. Check it out and enter. On second thought- don't enter: I want to win! :-)

And there's a great giveaway being coordinated by Debbi called Fall into Fall Quilters Blog Giveaway. I'm taking part, although I have yet to decide what I'm going to give-away. Stay tuned, but check out the Giveaway site for details.

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No wonder I love this time of year! It brings out the best in all of us. What about you? Are you an autumn person, and if so - why?

Until next time...


Susie said...

It's absolutely my favorite time of year. I was born in this town in CA and have lived here all my life. There is a very subtle change of seasons, but it's all I know.
I love fall because of the coziness, colors and comfort food :)
Love your decorations!

Wendy said...

Pattie -- I *almost* chose your George Eliot quote for my Words to Live By today. Love that quote.

I grew up in Texas; I remember thinking the fall colors were yellow and gray. Bleh. I live in Utah now, and wow -- talk about fall eye candy! I love that I get 4 seasons here. Very beautiful.

I love autumn, 'cause I'm an October baby! Some of the other reasons you mentioned as well...especially the holidays returning. Susie said it, tho' -- the coziness, the colors and the comfort food!

Fun seeing your decorations!

Cookie Sunshine said...

Without a doubt autumn is my favorite season. It always takes me back to very happy times in the deep south. I think of pecans and pecan pies, fall festivals and cake walks. My sister always had a fun Halloween party every year because her birthday fell at the beginning of the school year.

These days I love living in the midwest where I relish the colors and I can't wait to pull out my sweaters. It's prettier than I ever imagined it would be. We usually travel a bit during the season. We take nice evening walks. And we eat a lot of wonderful soup!

grammy said...

I do love the Fall. Come over and look at some of the yellow aspen pictures on my blog. I think you said it when you mentioned the start of the season. School. Then the Holidays come fast and furious. I am so sad to see summer go but Thankful for the beauty Autumn brings.

carla said...

I am and have decided to wholly adopt your state of mind, well, MINDSET.

still in the 90s here.

I was missing home (east coast) but may just make my own INDOORS season change scene!


Needled Mom said...

It's so nice to have your wonderful posts once more.

I, too, love autumn. It has been a little tough to get into the thought that it has arrived so soon this year, but it is still my favorite season of the year.

Bread baking?? Yummy. We should do it together.

JC said...

Great post. Love the pictures (great ideas) thanks for sharing.

Cammy said...

I love the colors of autumn and the warmth of the sunlight, but it's always a bit sad to me, too. It reminds me of goodbyes....

new*me said...

I love, love, love all the pics. Autumn to me is family, warmth and love.

PEA said...

Like you, Autumn is my very favourite time of year:-) I can well imagine how much you're missing the colours you had in Utah but as you say, you can still decorate your home to welcome this wonderful season. Our leaves are really changing colour at the moment and this week they will be at their peak before the leaves all start to fall. We had a heavy frost this morning, everything was white so Autumn is definitely here! lol xoxo

jillytacy said...

Fall was never my favorite time of the year. But now that I'm a mom I see the wonders that fall brings. Leaves changing colors and falling to the ground to be raked up and jumped in repeatedly, Halloween costumes and festivities and all of those lovely autumn decorations. I've come to love fall. My daughter has opened my eyes to it's joys! Of course a reason to make pumpkin dip and gingersnaps doesn't hurt either!

Kelli said...

I am definitely an Autumn person. :0) Your Autumn touches are just wonderful and I love your popcorn candles! We don't get a lot of color here in Texas either, but I enjoy what little we do get.

RunningNan said...

You are like me! I'll have to take some pictures and send them your way. Autumn is my favorite time of year. Today is my favorite type of day too. The low lying dark clouds with the sun that peeks through every now and then. The cool breeze that blows through the cracked windows. The few leaves that have started to fall in the yard. That smell. I am going to go to the craft store this weekend and pick up some fall decorations. I need to decorate!