Saturday, October 6, 2012

One of My Favorite Fall Memories

I just stumbled upon a lovely blog post - and of course I can't find the link - in which the writer shared some of her favorite fall memories. Now personally, I tend to get a little cranky about autumn's arrival. The weather gets colder. I have to start wearing socks. No more cherries at the market. And worst of all, it means that the long New England winter is just around the corner.

Of course, the coming of fall also means that pumpkin is back on the menu and that my birthday is just around the corner and that we have yet another chance to figure out how to not only cook up a fun vegetarian Thanksgiving menu, but also create our own meaningful family Thanksgiving traditions.

Ever since we stopped going to family Thanksgiving, we've been trying to figure it out. The first year saw us at home because I was in the middle of writing my wedding planning book and my deadline was just a few days away. The next year, I was pregnant and we invited a good friend to celebrate with us. After that, P. was tiny... then I was pregnant again... and then I was purposefully avoiding holiday celebrations in the wake of my miscarriage. Which brings us to this year, where Thanksgiving falls too close to Hunter's due date to plan for anything.  

Now, I actually don't have many fall memories that aren't in some way connected to various birthday parties or Halloween happenings, though one particular Thanksgiving does spring to mind. I was in grade school and I had pneumonia. There was a family baby on the way and it was determined that my illness and the pregnancy were incompatible so that meant the holiday was going to be just me and my mom. I was pretty disappointed at first, but it ended up being a lot of fun. Mom made a chicken instead of a turkey and fixins and pumpkin pie and we ate it all together right there in the kitchen without anyone else.

I think about that Thanksgiving sometimes when we're trying to navigate our own small holidays and I'm asking myself if it's really a celebration without 10+ people kicking each other under the table. But it's not the size of the family that counts, right?

This year, I'm looking forward to making fall memories with P. and with the BabbyDaddy. Last year, P. tentatively played in the crunchy leaves and that was about it until she went crazy for Christmas starting the day after Thanksgiving. 

making fall memories

This year, we've hit the big fall fair, cooked up and brunched on pumpkin pancakes, crunched through the masses of fallen autumn leaves already crowding the sidewalks, and overdosed on locally-pressed cider. And it's only just a few days into October! As much as I dislike seeing the warm weather give way to the inevitable chill, I am totally looking forward to whatever comes next.

What are some of your favorite fall memories?


  1. For about the last decade, while my brother and I lived in the same town as my grandmother, we both went to her house for Thanksgiving. Knowing she'd try to cook a gigantic Thanksgiving dinner for 20 (like she'd been used to doing for decades), we insisted on getting some baked chicken and sides from the supermarket deli. It was a nice low-key holiday for all of us, and probably more fun for her...

    Now that she's passed on, I'm not really sure what I'll be doing this year. :/

    1. Who all is local still? Hit up the supermarket deli and keep the tradition going!

    2. Actually, none of us is local. My brother still lives in Lubbock, and I moved five hours away.

      The debate now is whether to drive five hours to see my brother, or to drive six hours to see my folks.

  2. I love Autumn more than any other time of year. I much prefer cool weather, to hot. I love the colors, textures and flavors of the season. I think part of it is tied to going back to school, which I lived for. I would count down the days until school during my summers as a kid.

    I envy your small family holiday. My family is big. I love everybody and I adore our traditions. But I hate the tension, incompatible personalities, and the expectations. I would love to have Thanksgiving with just my husband and my girls. I would do all the cooking. It would be quiet and warm, with a fire in the fireplace. But I'll be with my family again this year, stressing out, but still enjoying the day with all it's noise and chaos and irritability.

    I hope you find the perfect way to celebrate this year!

    1. I actually feel pretty grateful that we have the choice. This year it'll be just us again, but next year I think we'll be at my moms in her new house with it's HUGE dining room filled with people. At my dads, I'm not sure if it's still this way since we haven't been in a while, we used to borrow tables from the church and have tons of almost-family there. I think coming from that is what makes me feel weird about our small affairs.

      But hey, why not just try bowing out one year? Honestly, the first year we said we were staying home, people were kind of mad. The very next year, though, they were over it :)

    2. I wish I could get away with bowing out. Five of my six siblings live within a mile of my mom, and so do I. I would never hear the end of it, if we stayed home. Though I'm thinking that this year we might have our own little family Thanksgiving the weekend before or after T-Day.

  3. I love our annual pre-Thanksgiving Potlatch party with friends. Best kind of Thanksgiving. Of course this year I have to follow it up a few days later with my very first hosted family Thanksgiving so it's probably going to be mega stressful, but I don't care. Fun will win out in the end!

    1. I swear, some day we're going to crash your Potlatch!


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