This past weekend may have been the last of the peak fall color. The weather has turned cold for sure, with night time lows flirting with freezing. The kids have pulled out their winter coats, and the leaves are falling fast and furious.
So we’re settling into wintering. It was an appropriate time for the All Saints service I sang in this weekend. I had mentioned another song in my Friday post, but in my worry about that tricky second soprano section, I forgot to report the truly cool part of the service: We performed the world premiere of a David Bennett Thomas setting of Psalm 121. He came to listen to it. Performing a choral work for the first time, and seeing a composer hear his work performed in person for the first time, is an experience you don’t get too often in a lifetime. So I tried to pause and notice and appreciate that.
Because it was not exactly the world’s most relaxing weekend. One kid had a Boy Scout camping trip in New Jersey, which meant my husband was driving him around both mornings, and I was shuttling kids to other things, plus getting out of the house for showings and an open house. We did family photos, which will be beautiful, but involved a lot of toddler shenanigans. The toddler also had a major sleep regression over the past few days, taking hours to settle at night and last night he was awake for an hour in the middle of the night.
Anyway, since the leaves are falling, I thought I’d go ahead and report how I did on the 2021 Fall Fun List.
Visit the beach. Done! I went to Cape May for my 2-day editing retreat. I was a bit ahead of the peak fall color, but it was beautiful nonetheless. I walked around the state park by the light house and saw an eagle perched at the top of a tree.
Go to Hawk Mountain. We went hiking a few weekends ago, and saw many gorgeous fall vistas (though, alas, not any hawks). This took some squeezing in with all the kids’ sports, but I was very glad we went.
Do fall puzzles. Well, I did most of one. (White Mountain’s 1000-piece Friends in Autumn) I got stuck with about 150 pieces of blue sky to go. Then I needed to either move or disassemble it for showings and I decided to go with the latter. Oh well.
Enjoy some fall-themed art. I found a lovely fall village scene in the Suzanne Valadon exhibit at the Barnes, which (if I remember correctly) she painted while visiting her much younger husband while he was recuperating from war wounds. I had been on the hunt for fall children’s books, and I can report that Fletcher and the Falling Leaves is a real winner — especially the moment of wonder on the last page.
Take a family bike ride. We did!
Do the family photo shoot and print up some photos. We took the photos. I will work on printing some up soon. I have been snapping a great many photos, including the one illustrating this post. Fall fading light is just spectacular. Even in the parking lot at my kid’s tennis lesson!
Do some morning runs. I did a few and they were great, such as on the beach at sunrise in Cape May. Now that I’m thinking about it, I also ran a half marathon in September, and did two AM long trail runs with Jane. I was thinking I wasn’t doing good on this one because I’m not running at 6:30 a.m. on Tuesdays (close to impossible with the current kid school schedule) but I should probably give myself a bit more credit here.
Decorate with mums. We did buy a few to make our house look nicer. But the key part of this Fall Fun List entry was to also learn the names of several fall-blooming wildflowers, which I did! There is white snakeroot (clouds of it everywhere), goldenrod, pokeweed (that’s the one with the berries that look vaguely like little grapes in a vineyard…), Black-eyed Susans, and a wide variety of asters. So many asters. I can’t keep them all straight, so “asters” they are.
Go leaf-peeping in upstate New York. We did this when we went to my little brother’s wedding at his home not too far from New Paltz. We did a gorgeous fall hike at Lake Minnewaska, stayed at an adorable farm house, and picked apples as well. Taking a fall trip made me feel like we got a real fall, so this is a nudge to take a similar trip in future years (and hey, my brother will still be there, presumably, so we have a reason to visit!)
Procure adorable Halloween costumes plenty in advance. Well, everyone had Halloween costumes by Halloween. And they were cute. We did two Halloween events (Boo at the Zoo and went to Dutch Wonderland) and had fun trick-or-treating. So I’ll call that a win.
NaNoWriMo…? Nope. I did turn in my Tranquility by Tuesday manuscript at the end of October but I just can’t do the novel thing this month. Maybe 2022. Or a NaNoWriMo in February or something…
How was your fall?