Thursday, December 4, 2008

Miriam over at AnceStories 2: Stories of Me for My Descendants has started up her prompts and here is how I've tackled Fall!

*How do you feel about fall? Is it a favorite season, or do you prefer another?

Autumn or Fall is actually my favorite season - mostly since it gives me a respite from the heat of Summer which is my least favorite season!

*What are your favorite fall activities (indoor or out)?

I love to get out and walk if possible - with a lack of heat and humidity it is so much easier to breathe for me. I also like to see the changes of the season: vegetable gardens at their peak before the frost, leaves changing color, etc.

*What are your favorite fall sports (to watch or play)?

I am not a big sports fan, period. To me football is a nuisance since it always delays "60 Minutes" on television.

*Do you have a favorite fall outfit to wear? Corduroy slacks and plaid flannel shirt, a cozy sweater, etc.?

About early October here in Chicago, I rearrange the armoire and place most shorts and t-shirts in the lower drawers and bring up the sweat pants, khakis and fleece from the lower drawers.

*Do you have any particular household or garden chores that you regularly do just in autumn?

Finish the weeding, bring the salt out of storage (if there is any left), bring out the rakes and snow shovels for easy access. I also go around and make sure all my windows are closed at the top so no heat escapes as it gets colder.

*Have you ever gone leaf peeping?

That just sounds dirty. We called it "leafing" and the people from New York City who would come up during the weekend to view the leaves were called "leafers."

*What observances of nature do you regularly watch (birds flying south, squirrels preparing for winter, etc.)?

Since I moved to Chicago four years ago, I've become fascinated with the Canadian geese and their flight patterns. Since I live close to Lake Michigan, many of the geese seem to congregate in the park land along the shore. And each night you can hear large numbers (meaning several groups since most flocks are about 15 geese and it requires an odd number to form that "v" pattern) fly south along the lakeshore.

*What flowers that bloom during this season do you especially like?

Mums, of course, and Chinese lanterns which I try to buy fresh at the farmer's market and then dry.

*Do you visit any orchards, pumpkin patches, or corn mazes? 

Growing up we used to head over to the Cider Mill at North Branch along the Delaware River. You could bring your own apples to be pressed or watch them press their own and make a gallon of fresh cider for you!

*What about the local fair?

Since I grew up in a place where it frequently snowed before Halloween, most fairs including farmer's markets were done by Labor Day.

*Do you do any kind of harvesting or food preparation (canning, drying, smoking)?

I have memories of relatives taking a pig in for slaughter or if they didn't house the pig themselves, then purchasing half a pig and placing all the cut up parts in the freezer for the winter.

*What about hunting?

I never hunted myself but I do remember when it was bow and arrow season for deer and especially the first day of rifle hunting for deer. Most local schools closed for the first day and children were not allowed to play outside if they lived in rural wooded areas.

*Do you do any kind of fall traveling, other than holiday travels?

I don't take trips to view fall foliage but my favorite time to make a genealogy trip and to traipse around cemeteries is when I have to walk through leaves on chilly but sunny Fall days!

*Which is your favorite fall holiday, and why (Hallowe'en, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, or others)?

Thanksgiving Day is one of my favorites since I like to cook. It makes for a busy time the years that I need to host but it is nice to have everyone over in one place for the day.

*What are your favorite fresh foods that are in season at this time? Favorite fall recipes or beverages?

Brussel sprouts - preferably on the stalk is the way they should be bought at the farmer's market. Bring them home and saute in brown butter then sprinkle with salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. I also love butternut and acorn squash!

*Share favorite memories of fall from your childhood.

I loved to rake leaves and then play in the large piles, especially maple leaves. I also remember more than one Fall when snow fell in early October which was not really that much fun.

*What do you least like about this season?

It passes too quickly and usually it turns to Winter before December 20th!

*What family birthdays, anniversaries, or events are commemorated in the fall? Are there any significant family history events that occurred during summer?

My family has very few Fall birthdays or anniversaries - they all seem to occur during the month of July!

*Do you have any hobbies that you take up during the fall months?

In September I usually start planning for Christmas - I select the holiday cards to send, decide what charity to work with for the season, and plan the decorations for the tree.

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