We have had our early cold snap here in middle Tennessee and now we’re back to warm days and blue skies. This is the kind of Tennessee weather I have always loved. It is near perfect. The smell of tobacco barns has come and gone and now just the smell of wood smoke greets me every morning.

Soon though we’ll be back down in the freezing temperatures and all the leaves will be on the ground. We don’t get a lot of autumn color here mainly because we don’t get cold enough in the evenings leading up to the leaves changing colors. There are some sugar maples here though and they are the most beautiful of all the trees in the fall.

The Homeplace at LBL

I’ve made candles this year already and got that out of the way, though I could stand to make another few dozen. I’ve canned lots of beans, soups, meat and tomatoes, plenty to get us through the winter.

A friend of mine was talking about making real Mincemeat this year and I haven’t made that in probably forever, 50 years most likely. So I may make some and can it. I have fond memories of making real mincemeat, the kind that actually has meat in it, with my Grandmother and Mother. It really is good, I know it sounds strange to modern folks, though.

Fall brings out the creativity in me. Baking, cooking, making, decorating, sewing. I like it all and it seems like autumn gives me permission to slow down and do these things I love to do. It has always been my favorite season.

To Autumn

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

John Keats