September has just started, but the summer heat has broken here in Pennsylvania, at least for now. I saw a few yellow leaves scuttle over the road! We don’t hit peak fall color until late October, but the gradual build-up, with the crisp weather, is always lovely.
School starts next week — Labor Day comes late — and it will look different this year. My three older children are attending school virtually for the first bit. Their schools issued us (and everyone else) laptops/Chromebooks so my device shortage problem is now more than solved (I didn’t know they were issuing these universally, so we bought an iPad and some speakers/webcams so the desk top could run Zoom, but now it seems we won’t urgently need those). We made the tough decision to enroll the 5-year-old in a private kindergarten program that is set up to meet in person. In order to get him to pay attention to preschool Zoom last spring I had to sit with him for the entire class. That just could not happen for 2-3 hours each day. There may be periodic closures, but the class is small, and I am optimistic.
In the meantime, I’ve been creating a fall fun list. I want to take full advantage of this beautiful time of year. Here’s what I’m aiming to do.
Go apple picking. This is my reminder to myself that this is a September activity, not a October/November activity, at least if I want to pick the Cortlandts and Honeycrisps that I like best.
Take a long bike ride. We hiked in the Delaware Water Gap a few weeks ago and I saw that there’s a long bike trail along the river. But there are also nice ones near my home too. We may try to go on a family ride if I can get a sitter for the baby or figure out how to set up the buggy to accommodate him in a few months.
Run 10 miles. My marathon plans aren’t happening. But 10 miles should. One of my running buddies and I might do this on the day our canceled half-marathon would have happened.
Celebrate our two fall birthdays. I am voting no on Chuck E. Cheese birthday parties this year for obvious reasons. But we can still come up with something festive. My husband and I are celebrating our 16th anniversary later this week. I think it will just involve champagne on the back porch and hopefully the kids giving us 15 minutes of peace.
Decorate the yard with mums. These flowers always make fall feel like fall to me. My husband just planted some fall-blooming asters, and the roses (and the dahlias he planted this year) should still be blooming even as the leaves change.
Take a weekend leaf-peeping trip somewhere. This one is already in the works, more on it later!
Take a solo retreat. This might just be a day-long thing, but I’d like to go think deep thoughts somewhere for a little while. Though, boy, I could use a night away from the baby.
Declutter. This is also in process, with a scheduled pick-up of our donations on the calendar. I should schedule these every month or two to force the issue. I also want to re-make my bed. I ordered a lovely Pendleton coverlet and wool blanket but I’ve been too lazy to set that all up. Maybe the changing seasons will inspire me.
What activities make fall feel like fall to you?
In other news: Elizabeth Morphis, who was the subject of a Tranquility by Tuesday makeover a year ago, started a new blog called The Literary Teacher’s Life. If you’re interested in reading, teaching, and education in general, please check it out!
Photo: Rainbow that appeared after a shower this week