It’s fall again. I didn’t always like the fall…which meant that summer was over, the trees would lose their leaves and the cold would set in. Six of our eight children were born in the fall, so that certainly has added some spice to the season. And over the years I’ve found ways to create cozy family evenings to look forward to.
I love to make homemade soups, full of nutritious foods and goodness. When the children were young I added more bay leaves than necessary to the soup…at least one for each child. Interestingly enough, a bay leaf would happen to end up in each bowl. Oh, the excitement of finding a bay leaf in one’s soup…to be removed, and not eaten. Funny how the surprise of finding a bay leaf in their bowl never occurred until their second serving. Of course, they had only one ladleful of soup in their bowl as a serving, so that it could cool faster. Astonished faces, with mouths dropped open, looked back at me just last year when I revealed this 2nd bowl-bay-leaf-bonus as one of my clever motherly strategies. They never knew!
Changing to warmer pajamas was always a favorite fall activity with my kids when they were young. Sometimes they wore matching pajamas. And as the season wore on towards winter, when it grew dark earlier, we’d even take baths before dinner. That was easy to do if there was a pot of soup all prepared and ready on the stove.
I love the ambiance of candle light. If I’m using an ipad, I can even read by it. How cool is that! Last year I started using some timed LED candles. I like to walk into a room with candles already lit. And there’s no worry about stray sparks and unsupervised or forgotten candles.
Dinner by candlelight is a given. Guests once asked if we always have candlelight…in the fall and winter, yes. We’re making the gathering for our evening meal special while chasing away any of my tendency towards seasonal blues. And yes, I will have to repeat myself over and over again this year, “Please don’t play with the candles.” After all, what’s a mom for?
We’re not football fans or TV watchers, so we’ll turn to music, games, handcrafts and shared reading for our evening activities while warming ourselves with cups of tea. Once in a while we’ll watch a movie, cooking show, or speech. And reluctant to leave the family circle, we’ll head off to bed as late as ever.
Now that we live near Vegas, the coming of fall means that the weather will be turning cooler, but not as cold as in other places of the country, for which I’m thankful! Of course, our trees will not have the gorgeous fall colors either, produced by the colder temperatures in other places. You win some, and you lose some. So we’ll make the best of the one and the least of the other. There are always things to be grateful for. Sometimes you have to really look to find them, and sometimes you have to purposefully create them.
Speaking of gratefulness, Thanksgiving will be right around the corner. That’s our family’s favorite holiday and one we try to practice all year long…including the eating of pie!
May you have a lovely fall and be warmed with many happy pleasures.