Saturday, October 1, 2005
The Summer that Wouldn't Fade
Tonight we ate barbecued chicken out on our Martha Stewart patio set (from K-Mart--perhaps our most used furniture in the house of late). It was balmy, a bit breezy and all around lush greenery just beginning to fade, and ample pots of coleus still blooming. It is October 1 and we have yet to have a frost, let alone a killing frost.
In August after the balmiest, hottest, even most humid summer that I can recall in the northeast (it has been a while), I predicted a warm fall. September was beautiful. Of course the dry dust and mold is kicking up in grand form--we have had little rain--but the clear, cloudless days are beginning to spoil us with their predictability. And who says we are not having Global Warming? It will be interesting to see what winter brings but I can take another month or so of this.
Even the fall foliage is delayed--it has the appearance of late August when the swamp maples are just beginning to turn. I expect our peak weekend will be much later this year when "peak" is usually around Columbus Day. But cider is here! Lovely, sweet, rich nectar of the apple gods--and unpasteurized! The only place we can find the "real stuff" is at Tenney Farm in Antrim, New Hampshire. You haven't tasted apple cider until you've had unpasteurized. In fact, I consider it to be fall tonic and it helps ward off colds and all sorts of things.
I'll take this weather all year round but I find myself beginning to crave the crackle of a warm fire and the colder nights. One thing I miss about autumn is the smell of burning leaves. Everyone used to burn leaves--in suburb, city , and country--but no longer. That is a smell the candle companies should fabricate. There has been so much sun of late, particularly shining in my office window, that I haven't had to turn on my light box. Yet I do notice an increasing irritability--perhaps it is time.
I haven't written much lately because, perhaps, so much has been happening. The children are all back at school, we are settling in to a busier routine, and I am starting to have pantries photographed for my book (and arranging for all the styling that goes into them behind the scenes). I have loads of pantry props and it will be fun. Next week my friends Sue and Steve come up for the week to begin shooting. We have a variety of pantries, many from old "legacy" houses that have never been seen by the public. Those houses that hold the stuff of generations and never seem to change. These are a part of New England, especially, and there are more around than one realizes. It is a special treat to have befriended many of their owners and to be allowed access--almost like a secret club.
So I promise to write a bit more regularly and will probably be commenting more on the book process as the months ahead unfold. It is a good time of year to be thinking about pantries--we have been stocking our cellar shelves like regular squirrels. Instead of canning or freezing this year--my garden was a complete disaster--we are buying a great deal in bulk or on sale for shelves and freezers. Despite the beautiful and continued summer, there is always a winter in New England.