After I dipped my Fuji Apple in Caramel at lunch time, I returned to work and finished the Coconut Crème Pie that was leftover from my birthday.

I cringed when the afternoon sun cast my shadow across the parking lot. Ouch. Shade in the summer, heat in the winter.

Speaking of heat in the winter…we purchased a cord of wood last week in anticipation of some cool autumn evenings around the fireplace. Instead, we opened the doors every evening this week. Indian Summer.

Several times I’ve heard the cry of a Night Hawk and glimpsed it’s graceful pursuit of insects by the light of the street lamp. Maybe the cold front moving in will encourage him to begin his migration. I hope he doesn’t have to travel through southern California

Tonight it might freeze. If it does, our yellows, oranges, and reds will turn to winter brown. Apparently, the length of the night has equal influence on the hues that paint the deciduous trees. I always thought it was the frost.

I remember studying about photosynthesis when I was in high school. That was many fall seasons ago. If I close my eyes, I can remember the smell of chalkboards and floor wax. The fall weather confused the heating system, so, by early afternoon the classrooms would be uncomfortably warm. If the teacher was boring, that after lunch class was a real head jerker.

I would wrap my morning sweater around my waist and stroll the 2 miles home. Then, mom warned me away from opening the outside door to the kitchen. She didn’t want any temperature change to influence the sealing process in the pears, her last fruit canning of the season. The house smelled of boiling sugar syrup mixed with the fumes from bleach water. Mom always scalded and sanitized her ‘mason’ jars. Once removed from the boiling water bath, the jars of fruit lined counters and tabletops. I kept track of the telltale pops as they sealed. If the numbers didn’t match up, Mom tapped the lids with her fingernail and listened for a certain resonance.

Freshly canned fruit was a wonderful treat with my bowl of Ruskets for breakfast. (*Ruskets was a cereal that came shaped like a biscuit of pressed wheat flakes.)

As much as I love fall, I think it’s the time of year I miss my mother most of all.


For me it is the time I miss my dad. He loved to rake leaves, burn them in the street, put the gardens to bed, and watch football. The local paper snapped a picture of Dad raking leaves in my childhood home a few years before he died. I cherish that picture of him in his flannel shirt in our yard.
dieter said…
I think spring is the time of year I like best now. I used to like the summer night best.The smell just before a summer storm is nice.We seem to store sound and smells in our minds I think.As odd as it sounds every time I smell sewing machine oil it reminds me of my childhood.Mum used to work in a shoe factory and pick us up from the sitter after work so even an unpleasant smell can bring on a happy thought.
Jeanette said…
Hi Pamela.I love the spring just going and the smell of freshly mowed grass.i think were going to have a long hot summer were only in spring and had 2 days nearly 100 degrees.
Beccy said…
What lovely images you've conjured up. I don't really like autumn as it signifies the long, wet, cold winter ahead but so far we've had lovely crisp autumnal days with the sun shining a bit too.
kailani said…
I can totally understand why. I'm sure she's looking down at you and thinking the same thing.
~JJ! said…
Aw man, you made me cry.
Sally Lomax said…
I can understand that. Especially if you enjoyed each other's company lots at this time of the year....
janet said…
a lovely tribute to the season and your memories of your mom.
nikki said…
Wonderful post. I miss the jumping in the leaves and the excitement of being a child as Halloween approaches. At least now I get to experience it through my son's eyes.
Claudia said…
Pamela, as usual, your writing just brings me there!!
Enjoyed your memories. Cheryl always says, "Thank you." when she hears a lid seal. At first I thought she had lost a portion of her mind but now even I listen for the familiar "Pop".
Sandy said…
Isn't it funny that no matter how old we get, how many children we have, for that matter, how many grandchildren we have, we still want our parents? How nice that you have such lovely memories and that you're sharing them with your children and with us.
Gattina said…
You are too kind, lol ! only crazy this day !
Simply Jenn said…
What a great memory. Thanks for sharing it with us!
Karmyn R said…
Buttercup says: I miss you, gwandma. I want to come back to your house.
Susie said…
What a lovely post filled with memories. You slipped in the coconut pie quite nicely. When was your birthday???
I feel bad to have missed it, but my blogging has been so hit and miss.
Hope you had a wonderful day.
Tiggerlane said…
Beautiful post - a sweet memories. Fall will always be special to me, since it is when I met my husband...and I was also hugely preggers during the next fall. I love living in an area where the leaves turn - but sadly, it's not going to be the same this year - got too cold, too fast. You had a talented Mom, and the memories of her canning are precious.
wolfbaby said…
totally understandable

lovely memories though:)
Junebug said…
I was remembering my dad yesterday also and I thought about him all night so I got up and wrote down my post about 1:30 am. Memories are good.
The seasons DO have a definite scent, huh? And those "olfactory memories" can stir in us recollections that are almost reliving the past. That's what it sounds like here... In your memory, your past is present.

(does that make sense?)

Beautifully written, Pamela.
Pamela said…
Inland Girl: I'm getting nice memories just from your comment.

dieter: you really hit the nail on the head. Smell = Memories (good and bad. glad your bad smell equals good memory)

Jeanette: Oh heck. When spring comes I'll probably say I like it best

Beccy: anxious to see what winter brings this year

kailani: strange as it may seem, I hope she is oblivious of the sorrows after her departure

jj: my work here is done )*:

Sally: how we take for granted to time with our parents

janet: thanks for stoppin' by again!

nikki: Lucky you -- I do get to see pictures and hear stories of my grandkids

Claudia: We should write a book. You take the pictures.

Ramblin: Good for Cheryl. I only occasionally make jam/jelly or sauce. Not often anymore.

Sandy: there was a time when "mom" could fix any problem

Gattina: no, you're crazy every day. giggle

Simply Jenn: kind of a write down my thoughts... not very well planned, but worked out okay.

Kar: oooooooh I miss buttercup, too

Susie: Life happens. And Life is best with Coconut cream pie. Thanks for the card!!! (:

Tigger: You have some writing material right there for nanowhatever it is next month!!! I can't wait -- like I said - You posting every day is going to be great

wolfbaby - I read yours today, and you made me cry

Junebug - you made me cry, too. Your loss is so recent. Hugs

Robin - That smell just sort of wafted into my thought process - and you are almost right
your past is A present. Already opened.
theotherbear said…
Lovely post!
My favourite time of year is spring. Not too hot yet but still sunny days.
Robinella said…
That was a lovely memory, Pamela. Thanks for sharing.
Kila said…
Thanks for sharing her with us. I can almost smell and taste the fruit.

I haven't done much canning over the years, but I feel like I should. My grandma and great-grandmas would be appalled at my lack of canning skills. And sewing skills. My, how life has changed.
Susie Q said…
Ooh that pie sounds so good! Today was my BD...I tool all the blogging buddies to the NYC of the 5os! You were there! I SAW you!!

Your post was filled with such bittersweet joy. Beautifully written. I adore Fall but I do miss my Dad so much during this season. Those memories are priceless aren't they?

Have a sweet weekend dear Pamela!

lisa's chaos said…
I feel so inept when people are grieving. You wrote a lovely post and I'm sorry for your pain but happy for your wonderful memories.
susan said…
Oh that's beautiful. It's funny how little things, the pop of a canning jar, a smell, a season can trigger so many memories. Thanks for sharing yours...
Shelby said…
very beautiful memory indeed.
Devon said…
Pamela, what wonderful memories you have. I remember my mom canning and going through the jars tapping on the lids to assure the seal.
Tammy said…
I was just reading this whole post, enthralled by the beautiful writing. It was wonderful, Pamela.
And I could picture it all!
Melissa said…
I made my mom's caramel corn tonight and for the first time, I had a recipe come out tasting exactly like hers. It was exciting and humbling all at once.

This is a beautiful post Pamela. Hugs to you!
my4kids said…
AGain with the warm weather! Did it freeze? Our temps have been dipping into the freezing mark at night but the days are in the low 40's so our heating systems have not had any problems.
Loved the memories, Pamela. No one in my family ever canned fruits but I had a friend whose mother did and I loved when the counter was lined like that also.
my4kids said…
Come on over I left you and award on my blog.
Mert said…
Beautiful post Pamela! That made my heart warm. :)

If only I could say the same.
Hootin'Anni said…
Caramel Apple! THEN coconut cream pie! Girl-----you're killing me sweetly.

Then, you bring me down to earth once again with fresh, NON-fattening fruit?!! You're torturing me.

I'll opt for the caramel apple....got any leftovers?
Hootin'Anni said…
PS....hope you don't mind that I add you to my blog friends list. :o)
Gattina said…
You lucky girl ! Here is no Indian summer ! October is usually grey, cold and rainy. The trees I have here around are getting a dirty yellow than a shi.t brown and then they fall off and it's slippery and dirty on the ground. So I would rather skip the season and wake up in spring !!
BTW I stayed on the rails in the car wash ! Fortunately !
Hayden said…
It's still hot here in the SF Bay area, too. Today so bright my eyes hurt, and too hot for Jake to wear his skunk costume in the Halloween parade.

Like so many others, I loved this post. Sometimes I wonder if all of the jams and canned tomatos and homemade bread that pours out of my kitchen isn't just the way I channel the full, safe days of my childhood.
bermudabluez said…
I just love your writing style! It has been unusually warm here in NY too. But tonight it is FREEZING...about 30 degrees. Such a shock to the system. But, Fall is still my favorite season. This was the first one without my mom and I miss her immensely.
Claudia said…
sounds good to me!!
Jenni said…
What a beautiful post!

Someone above said fall is the time they miss their dad, and it is for me, too. My dad died 24 years ago tomorrow, the day before my Gram's birthday. It's not so much that this is the time of year he died as that I know how much he loved the season, too, just like me. I think about how nice it would be to walk through the woods with him again, the autumn leaves crunching beneath our feet.

I am thankful for the wonderful people in my life, past and present, and the memories of them I'm able to carry with me even after they've gone.
Anonymous said…
i snapped a picture of apples just for you.

will post next week

Kate said…
yum sounds great and Happy Birthday!

I too have been missing my Mom. I have been dreaming of her so often. I'd like it, but they are sad dreams...

I never did learn to can fruit or veggies... wish I had.

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