Now The Fall Is Here Again

On the day of the Autumn Equinox I awoke to the smell of the seasonal change. The air cold in my bedroom. The kiddos snoring tightly against me, the only evidence of them being the small, indistinguishable lumps under our shared covers. The need for warm socks along with my snagged and oversized yet beloved $1 bargain pink sweater before I shuffled into the kitchen to start the kettle for my morning cup of tea.

As the kettle hummed softly I sat at the table engulfed in the early morning quiet, looking out to the endless tree line through the large windows that let in the sweetest, most golden light in the late afternoon without fail. I could see the foggy mist dance and swirl as it moved silently through the trees. It looked different. More brilliant, more fluid. Moving with sheer joy as if to say “Autumn is here! Rejoice! Rejoice!”

And rejoice, I do.

Every year without fail, I begin to count down the days to October starting in August. Every day crossed off the calendar means one step closer to the cooler, crisp days that I love so dear. In Autumn, everything feels so much more alive to me. As if the chill in the air magically transforms itself into glittering energy that fills the world with excitement. Mother nature carpets the land in a breathtaking tapestry of golds and reds, oranges and yellows. Death in its most majestic and beautiful form.

As the northern world begins to slow down and approach its upcoming winter slumber and hibernation, I awaken. An ember is ignited inside my heart that sends electrical pulses down through my extremities, leaving me eager to experience and create with all that is around me. I want to breathe in the clean air that burns my lungs while my brain deciphers the scents that flow through my nose at lightning speed. Earthy pine… sweet smoke… wet wood… decaying leaves… spicy cinnamon… salty air. My ears welcome the hush that has settled onto the land over the roar of the waves… a quiet stillness that seems to whisper “I’m tired and now I shall rest until spring.” My tastebuds strain to taste everything and anything that counts apples, butternut squash, and chai spices in the mix. Feasting as if famine is just around the corner. My fingers try to memorize each leaf and herb, as they dry and crumble in my grasp. Imprinting their touch to memory to last until the next time we meet again.

Until we meet again.

Yes, we’ll meet again.

And the sun took a step back, the leaves lulled themselves to sleep and Autumn was awakened.
- Raquel Franco
And All At Once September Turned To October

Well, here we are, in October. A welcomed breath of fresh (albeit cold) air for both its excitement and a new start after the weird lull that September always seems to bring. That interim where Summer is behind us but Autumn is just slightly out of reach.

September chugged along with the excavation of our land and some bouts of rain, which turned a dust bowl into a mud pit. Always seeming to dry out just as a new set of dark clouds rolled in and opened onto the dirt below. A mix of acrobatic moves and four-wheel drive quickly becoming a dependable combo to get out of the swamp where our driveway used to be. I spent the month prepping for pop-ups and the change of the season right on the horizon. Harvesting and pruning herbs and lavender to (hopefully) overwinter until next year when I can do right by each them in my new garden.

Building a makeshift hot house to protect our priceless fruit trees and plants that we lovingly (and expensively) trucked up here from San Diego in a Uhaul one hot June day soaked to the point of sloshing water out the sides of the truck the first 50 miles with every tap of the brakes. With so much love and time invested into each one, that faced with an overwhelming fear that stopping overnight could potentially cook them all in that hot metal box on wheels, we decided to suck it up and drive the 17-hour trek back home in one straight shot. Driving on one lane, curvy highways high up in the mountains where your headlights are barely enough to see through the inky blackness of the sun setting while you just pretend that you aren’t mere inches away from a sheer plunge off the side. I don’t recommend it but sometimes you have to rely on a mix of crazy and a false sense of security to give you the balls to get through it (and the promise of a hot shower and a warm, familiar bed with three little fur kids certainly helps ).

I collected an estimated total of 40 pounds of strawberries through the summer, one bucket at a time. Eaten directly off the vine, washed and individually frozen on sheet pans to be tucked away in the freezer for winter meals and treats, and shared with neighbors turned friends. Many people (and chipmunks) enjoyed the continual harvest that lasted for months.

On Labor Day I carefully dug up the strawberry plants that had been so generous with me to hibernate them over winter, tucked into cedar boxes stuffed with shavings, where they can rest until they’re planted into their new vertical wall home next spring. The same day we harvested plums and apples from our neighbors’ land down the mountain (a mere 2 miles away but with an adventurous gravel road to get there). We ate the purple skin, golden flesh plums straight off the tree, and left with sticky fingers and bags bursting with fresh, beautiful fruit.

I made jams and sauces, laughing at the fear I used to have over such processes while beaming with pride as I watched my freezer fill up with repurposed jars that sparkled pink and gold.

I threw my parents a dinner party to celebrate both of their Virgo birthdays. Well worth the handmade invitations and week of prep leading up to it as the house filled with laughter and toasts to one another. The wine flowed, the cake pleased, and a new village was born. There is nothing like surrounding yourself with a community of good, honest people. Something I have always wanted and have finally found here in my small town on the coast of Oregon.

And now, as Autumn truly sets in, I am happy to enjoy my favorite month of the year. Fresh pumpkin bread and steaming chai lattes. Icy windshield mornings and glowing sunset evenings. Two blanket layers on the bed and a favorite “magical” essential oil blend that keeps my aromatherapy diffuser going. Large batches of Insta Pot* popcorn topped with ghee and pink salt and many viewings of Hocus Pocus*.

There’s nothing like it.

Happy Fall Y’all.

Let’s Give ‘Em Pumpkin To Talk About
Aromatherapy Diffuser Blend

3 drops tangerine essential oil*

2 drops cedarwood essential oil*

2 drops cinnamon essential oil*

add to your diffuser* and enjoy!

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PNW Summer

Long and fleeting all at the same time, the summer season on the Oregon Coast is unlike any other. Cool breezes, deliciously refreshing dips in the Pacific, beach combing under the bright and invigorating sun, and glorious sunsets on the horizion.