Seriously though, fall is my favourite season. And more than any other season, there are certain rituals which must be entertained before the leaves drop.
- Broccoli and Cheddar Soup – when I was younger I’d make a big batch on a sunny Saturday and then head out for a walk through the old streets of Halifax where the big trees and stately homes made an enticing backdrop. Then I’d come home to my flat and eat the soup with some warm crusty rolls and real butter. Today, I go for a hike through my own fields, or walk down nearby Butternut Lane under a maple canopy. The soup just tastes better after a couple of hours in the fresh air.
- The Library – I do go to the library the rest of the year, but my visits pick up in earnest in the fall (mostly because I am in town waiting for cubs or beavers to finish at least once a week). I used to live in a small town where I could walk to the library and loved that feeling of walking home, a stack of books under my arm. Now we drive, but when possible I like to take a walk around the village afterwards.
- Garden Detritus – Putting the garden in is a delight; tending it is rewarding; and there is something very satisfying about putting it to bed too. Cutting back the flowers, dividing where necessary, and tilling the vegetable garden under into clean dark rows. An afternoon of this is always followed by a cup of coffee – liberally laced with Baileys) outside in the lawn chairs before they too are put away for the season.
- Bonfire – the kids love this one. Piling up all the straggly pieces left over from the yard clean up and having a family bonfire complete with potatoes baked in their jackets and liberal sprinklings of salt. Because it’s dark earlier, it’s great to sit and watch the sparks fly, until it gets too cold even with a blanket.
- Games Night – Sunday evening. Dinner cleared away. A log on the fire. A family game of Scrabble. Or any game. Or a jigsaw puzzle. Just not – please – not Candy Land. (Thankfully even Grace has outgrown that one for the most part. Who says 5-year-olds can’t play Scrabble?)