I awoke today to a crisp, cool fall morning. Even though my neighborhood was covered in fog, it thrilled me to step outside soon after waking and see what nature was doing. Autumn is one of my favorite times of year. The fall season is colorful and quieting all at once. You never know what the day may bring -- leftover warmth from the night before or the coolness that reminds us winter is just around the corner.
Enjoying the fall can be a treat, no pun intended. Last week I decided it was time to buy pumpkins and chrysanthemums. I purchased an assortment of green squash, orange and white pumpkins of various sizes and two vibrant rust-colored mums. I was excited to arrange them around my doors, on the fireplace mantle, and as a centerpiece for the dining room table.
A few days later I attended the Hamilton County Fair and was reminded of many festivals and fairs that emerge this time of year. The smell of corn dogs, polish sausage, and hot fries wafted through the air, giving contrast to the sweet aromas of funnel cakes, cotton candy and kettle corn. I remembered bobbing for apples in the late 1970s when I was a young girl, and wondered if anyone still dared to take a plunge these days.
Later that evening, a friend and I carved a white pumpkin, creating beautiful swirls, circles and lightning bolts. We placed a tea light candle in the middle and ooh-ed and aah-ed at the beautiful glow coming from inside. I suddenly had the desire to visit an apple orchard and could almost taste the just brewed apple cider I knew would be there in abundance. I felt excited about the possibilities at hand.
Tips for enjoying the fall season:
Purchase a variety of gourds and squashes for your home. Make arrangements that include fall leaves, apples, Indian corn, acorns, pinecones or interesting wood pieces and branches.
Create bouquets from colorful leaves, wild flowers and decorative grasses.
Create candle holders from pumpkins by cleaning out the middle and either scarring the pumpkin's skin to allow light to flow through or cutting out decorative openings. Be sure to watch and adjust the flames appropriately.
Paint pumpkins gold or silver to create a shimmery, elegant effect.
Scent your home with pumpkin, cookie, apple and cinnamon spices.
Burn deep colored candles in various rooms or light a fire in your fireplace on cooler evenings and mornings.
Host a fall gathering. For children especially, make your own candied and caramel apples. Add nuts as a pretty garnish. Have a pumpkin carving for people of all ages, allowing individuals to take home small pumpkins as party favors. Small, sugar pumpkins can be used to make breads, pies, or soups. Toast the seeds with salt and coconut oil and eat as you work.
Take a hike, boat ride, or a drive in a friend's (or your own) convertible once the leaves change.
Here's to fall!
Tabi Upton, MA-lpc, is a therapist at CBI Counseling Center and founder of www.chattanoogacounselor.com. E-mail her at email@example.com.