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Monday, October 21, 2013

Fall Memories...


This is my favorite time of the year. Fall marks the beginning of the holiday season. Labor Day, followed by Halloween, my birthday, (which I’m campaigning to make a legal holiday!), Thanksgiving, Christmas, and finally the New Year. The time flies by. Seems as soon as I store the barbeque pit, it’s time to make my New Year’s resolutions—which by the way, are usually broken by January 2nd.
    Life is busy, but we all need to take time to soak up the gifts fall offers…the gifts life offers. Let our surroundings trigger past memories, and create new ones. 
    I love how fall touches each and every one of my senses. These are some of my observations…

Touch. The wind feels crisper against my cheeks. The air I inhale is colder as I breathe it into my lungs. Scarves I begin wrapping around my neck are soft, and sometimes, a bit scratchy against my skin. I enjoy inching closer to the fireplace, letting the heat warm me on a cold night.

Smell. Who can deny the wonderful smell of a bon fire? Hot dogs roasting to perfection. The sweet scent of toasted marshmallows. Or less appealing to some, the smell of leaves burning. Pumpkin pies baking in the oven at Thanksgiving, definitely a favorite.

Sound. Falling asleep at night to the rustle of the wind as it sends leaves helicoptering down to the ground, interrupted by the occasional thump of falling acorns. The crunch of walking through the fallen leaves, and echoes of the children’s squeals playing in them. The gear-shifting rumbles of buses carrying our precious cargo to school, and safely home again. The giggles of excited Trick or Treaters. The squawking cries and flapping of wings from migrating birds flying overhead.
Sights. Bursting colors of the leaves changing. Pumpkins, scarecrows, witches, ghosts, and all things scary, decorating homes and businesses. Yellow busses, cross guards, and flashing lights begin and end the school day. Apples ripened to perfection in a rainbow of color. The days turning dark earlier.

Tastes. Savoring hot chocolate and warm apple cider, one slow sip at a time. Toasted-to-perfection marshmallows. Roasted hot dogs, skins bursting at the seams with flavorful juices. The yumminess of Halloween candy you’ve managed to sneak from your child’s treat bag. Carmel apples. Thanksgiving feasts. And an extra for lucky me? Birthday cake. Need I continue? I’ve gained a pound just thinking about fall foods.

So many memories are engrained in our senses. A single touch, a smell, a sound, a sight, or a taste can easily spark a recollection. Good or bad, the memories are pieces of life that molds us into who we are.

Some of my fondest fall memories?

Triggered by touch. Running through the school yard, arms stretched outward, my throat burning from the cool air I’ve sucked in. Momma’s gentle touch as she wrapped me up warm before sending me out to play. Snuggling with hubby’s arms around me in front of the fireplace, basking in the warmth. The feel of my children’s hugs before they scurried off to school.
Triggered by smell. Smokey bonfires beneath the stars and hayrides as a little girl, and enjoying them again as an adult with my daughters. Falling asleep with the attic fan sucking in the scent of leaves burning through open windows.

Triggered by sound. The laughter from my girls hiding in, and rolling through, the crispy fallen leaves at our favorite neighborhood park. My youngest daughter crying as I dropped her off on her first day of school. Okay, that may have been me sniffling.
Triggered by sight. Sitting on my back porch, awestruck by the beauty of the flaming oranges, reds, and yellows of the changing trees surrounding me. Wishing they could stay those colors year-round. Driving my girls through the neighborhoods in search of the best Halloween decorations. Our house won the contest every year.

Triggered by taste. I can’t bite into a piece of pumpkin pie without thinking of my mother. She was, without doubt, the world’s best maker of pumpkin pie. And every time I devour my first handful of candy corn, I remember how hard it is to lose the extra pounds I’m going to gain throughout the fall. But it never stops me from indulging.

As you can see, my memories of falls gone by are mostly good ones, and I love when one of my senses triggers them to life. I find peace and comfort in them. I hope when the fall triggers your senses to remember, you find the same peace and comfort.
At the end of the day, it’s what we all deserve.

Share a special memory triggered by something you touch, smell, hear, see, or taste in the fall.
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Fall Memories