The Starland Vocal Band, infamous for a frothy Top 40 hit in the 1970s, Afternoon Delight recorded some really nice music in their day. My favorite song of theirs, Ain’t It The Fall, (ask your local independent music store) plays yearly in our home at this season. Signs of autumn have increased rapidly, to the point where they reached a tipping point of sorts on Saturday. While we’ve heard reports of snow on the Chilkat Range behind us, we now see some on the Coast Range in our view. The air, wet from recent rains, carries a tang of fallen leaves.
I don’t know if these signs opened our hearts and minds to autumn, or what, but that day became an impromptu celebration of the season for us.
We needed to hike to the car to haul in a couple of packs. We expected the next disc in a series we’re watching on Netflix (see Goodbye Netflix, See You in September) so we combined the two into a run to town, which would also allow Michelle to look for thread to match a kuspuk she’s making currently.
We hiked through the forest in the fresh morning, crossed the bay and headed for town. At Talia’s Treasures, where we knew the remaining inventory of a recently closed fabric store would offer thread (it did, in the proper color, of course! see Museum of Lost Desires) we also found a set of autumnal themed place mats.
We bought crackers and cheese at a grocery store. As we picked up our movie and the latest newspaper at the Post Office, we remembered to check the Sheldon Museum’s Anway apple tree for fresh windfalls. We quickly gathered a large bag of large, nearly perfect apples and raced to the bay to beat the tide.
We needed to hike higher up the bay to cross, even with hip waders, then edged the forest on the far side, meeting friends along the way. We sat and chatted for a few moments while watching the birds on the bay, many of them migrants passing through on their way south for winter.
Hiking over the ridge, we followed moose tracks, fresher than our footprints from the outgoing trip, most of the way to the cabin.
When we got home, we enjoyed our crackers and cheese with birch wine, started in spring and recently ready for bottling. At dinner, we warmed up the mushroom barley soup I made the day before with fresh picked chanterelles to chase away that day’s chill darkness (see Wild Mushroom Barley Soup). We might have improved the day with a fire in the wood stove and oil lamp light, but neither seemed necessary just yet. As we finished listening to the radio news that evening, Michelle made a quick apple pie with our freshly gleaned fruit, which we ate warm while watching our movie (see Apple Pie!).
The whole day felt like a holiday. It was one of those times I hope you find familiar, when you catch the eye of someone you love and grin, or even laugh out loud from the simple happiness of doing what you’re doing together.
I recently noted that we began thinking and working toward autumn at the first of this month (see Upterrlainarluta: “Always Getting Ready”) but something definitely clicked on Saturday. Something told us, as the song does each year, “Ain’t it the fall!”