Thursday, October 6, 2011

Falling for Fall

October is my favorite month in Chicago. And it’s not disappointing. I left a surprisingly soggy L.A. Wednesday for crisp blue skies, golden leaves and temperatures in the 70's. True, the rain in L.A. was an oddity. It usually only rains in the winter, but a storm snuck in early. And by the weekend, the rain will probably be forgotten as the forecast calls for sunny skies and warm temperatures. But even so, that L.A. weather won’t have the same fall magic I always find here.

The ground was littered with fallen leaves as I walked to the market and I noticed that the drying leaves give a distinct scent to the air. In the old days, people used to rake the leaves into piles in the gutter and burn them. I can still remember the pungent smell. At the store, the summer fruit was just about gone. Instead of peaches from California, there were bins of honey crisp apples from Michigan.

I was a little apprehensive about this trip. When I was here in July, it was in the 90's and my air conditioning didn’t work, there was plumbing work going on that required ripped out walls and teams of men here all day. The final touch was the arrival of the fire department at midnight the Sunday of my visit. From my front porch I watched them go in the building. I was in my nightgown, though thankfully one that looked kind of like a dress, and grabbed my flash drives and my purse. Then I waited. No one came through the building telling me to leave. I didn’t hear any neighbors in the hall. But I also didn’t hear the fire trucks leaving. Adrenalin was pumping as I wondered what to do. Finally when I went back on the porch, the firemen were coming out of the building and I could see they were packing up.

It wasn’t a false alarm. The neighbor on the first floor had a fire in his dryer.

But as soon as I got here this time and felt the pleasant air and realized that no plumbers were going to pound on the door whenever they decided to arrive, I relaxed and began to enjoy my favorite season. I also don’t think the fire department is going to show up. At least, I hope not.

So, hopefully I can focus on finishing the first draft of crochet mystery # 7 and painting the porch door. Well, painting after I get the old paint off, which I understand is the hard part. Then there is the wrap I’m crocheting to wear for my son’s wedding at the end of October. If only I could crochet and type and the same time.

I’m using this beautiful pumpkin with flecks of gold colored yarn for the wrap. It is both a souvenir from the Summer Knit and Crochet Show where I bought it and a reminder of fall. I should probably put some great final line here that ties everything together, but I can’t think of one. I keep thinking about the typing, the crocheting and the painting I need to do. And that’s not even mentioning that my sixth book, Behind the Seams, comes out in a couple of weeks. Didn’t Bette Lamb, our guest blogger, say something about wishing for more hours in the day. I’m with her.

Do you have a favorite season?


Bette Golden Lamb said...

Betty, Your words took me back to my Bronx days when Fall was my favorite time of year. The colors were incredible and there was that something in the air that told you it was good to be alive!

Betty Hechtman said...

Exactly, how I feel about fall in Chicago, Bette.

Linda O. Johnston said...

I still miss fall in Pittsburgh, too, Betty and Bette. It was always my favorite time of the year then--lovely, colorful leaves and crisp, cool air after summer's humid heat. I loved it!

Dru said...

I like Fall because it leaves summer behind and the air is crisp before winter arrives.

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, we all seem to have the same feelings about fall.

Betty Hechtman said...

Dru, as it turns out the weather in Chicago isn't quite crisp. It was close to 80.

JanG said...

I love fall colors, but Los Angeles isn't exactly a hotbed of autumnal splendor in that respect! Fresno, my childhood home, had gorgeous ash trees and liquidambers after the first frost. (I know -- most people associate Fresno with heat, but it did get chilly, if not downright cold.) Because of school, autumn always seemed like a time of beginnings, when anticipation reigned.

Betty Hechtman said...

Jan, liguid ambers - wow - what a great name. Is that a real tree or a description?

Planner said...

Summer is my favorite time of the year. Yes, it can get hot, but what a great excuse to take the day off to swim. There's nothing better than summer vacation, glorious summer fruit, and walking around in shorts to enjoy the warmth of the beautiful sun.

I miss summer already!