I love living in a place where autumn really behaves like autumn. It is as if the year is saying, "I may be going to sleep for three months, but I will go out in a glorious blaze of color and bounty." For the many things I did really enjoy about living in Texas, autumn was the time of year I always wanted to be somewhere else. It didn't seem right to sweat through Halloween costumes or to run the air conditioner on Thanksgiving. Now we are living in a place that really does autumn correctly.
One of my blogger buddies apologized some days back on an email for not blogging more often. She says this time of year brings out her squirrel tendencies and she is so busy canning, yardworking and storing up that she has time for little else. This really impressed me. And though I don't have a yard of my own, there is so much inexpensive produce here by way of farmers' markets that I may have to actually teach myself to bottle up some of this autumn goodness to enjoy later.
Last Friday I took the boys to a pumpkin patch. You know how you sometimes get two hours of perfection with your kids? That was Friday. The baby woke up just in time to nurse before we met our ward there just after lunch time. The weather broke for a few precious hours and Scallywag and Pirate have seldom had as much fun in the mud. For a mere two dollars each boy got a hayride and any pumpkin they could carry. (The result is two very small, misshapen pumpkins. I like to think this says something about the Charlie Brown qualities of my kids.) I wore the baby the whole time and he didn't even fuss once. It was one of those moments when I said YES! I CAN DO THIS THREE KIDS THING! I won't give details about the afternoon of tantrums . . . .
So the next day, Plantboy (isn't he cute) and I decided that we would take the kids to another farm, a little further away and pick apples with them at a mere forty cents a pound. Scallywag is really into the Golden Delicious variety these days because they did a taste test during science time at school and it was the clear winner. Saturday was not the day of perfections. We didn't even manage a couple of hours of perfection. The weather was gorgeous, but there were a lot of people and the boys absolutely did NOT want mom and dad to go so crazy at the Farmer's Market there. Nor did they want mom and dad to sit and listen to the hilarious country band while eating amazing apple cobbler and ice cream. They wanted a hayride NOW. Unfortunately, the clydesdales needed a break just as we showed up and we had to boys tantruming so ferociously by the time they were back that it didn't happen. Still, the photos are cute and I'm sure the memories will fade enough that we'll do exactly the same thing next year.
I have no record of the exceptional apple pie baked on Sunday. Our hometeachers helped us devour it when it was less than an hour out of the oven. Try fresh cream (unwhipped) over your next slice of apple pie. Oh. It. Is. Divine.
Although I'm glad to know the truth of things scientifically and spiritually, I have such a love of the Greek myths. One of my favorite is the explanation for why the seasons change. Demeter, the goddess of the harvest, had a very beautiful daughter, Persephone, who married the God of the Underworld (I forget the details on this part), Hades. Demeter was in such despair that she turned the earth into an eternal winter, nearly killing all of the humans off. (You've got to love the passions of those gods.) Zeus had to intervene or there would have been no more life on the planet. He compromised with his brother Hades and half the year, he had to send Persephone back ot her mother. He agreed. The ancient Greeks built temples to placate Demeter, goddess of the harvest, so that she would bless their harvest enough to see them through the winter.
While there is not a shred of truth in the story, there is something archetypal, fundamental and satisfying about the storing up against winter, even in our modern life. I have been grateful this week for the harvest God has given me.