Sunday, September 26, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

New Moon (Maxfield Parrish)
Yes, I know the song is about Christmas, but I love autumn. And I especially adore autumn in New England with our crisp apples, incredible foliage, and starlit evenings. So what else am I looking forward to in the coming weeks?

1. The wearing of the suede, the corduroy, and the wool. Suede is much less seasonal than it used to be, but I still can't really bring myself to do much with it until the leaves start to change. Growing up in chilly Minnesota corduroy and wool were wardrobe staples for most of the year so I always enjoy bringing out the wool cable knits and cardigans. There's one giant, schlumpy wool sweater I particularly adore; it's at least 13 years old, a hand knit fisherman cable crewneck from JCrew in a dark charcoal grey, and probably 3 or so sizes too big. It's not in the least bit flattering but it's sheer wooly comfort cancels out any other considerations. When worn with a well-loved pair of corduroys it is absolute wardrobe heaven. 

2.  The wearing of actual shoes and boots. I spend most of the summer in strappy sandals, sneakers, or flipflops--with the occasional light driving shoe on a rainy day. With cooler temps comes the need for more closed toe options. Oxfords and flats and boots, oh my! I have a beautiful pair of black, Church's Diplomat semi-brogues that came into my possession last year and I'll be happily sporting them this fall. Oxfords and brogues of one sort or another are very fashionable this season and it's fun to mix it up now and then. Plus, how can you help but love a pair of fit-like-a-glove bench-made brogues? 

3.  Black. I did wear my share of black and white this summer, but there's nothing like autumn and the approach of winter to really bring out my love of New York's staple color. I was a bona fide New Yorker for a decade and black is still a comfort color for me. The moment the temperatures start to drop in the evenings I start to roll out more black clothing. And my favorite complement to black? Navy. Black and navy...once you go there you will nevah evah go back.

4. Baseball, football, hockey. Even though "hocktober" is nearly upon us, I love September and October baseball. The pennant races, the posturing, the last game's great stuff. I miss my Red Sox being in the hunt this year but I'm thrilled that the Minnesota Twins have had such a winning inaugural season at Target Field. You can bet I'll be cheering them on in between Pats and Canadiens games and singing "We're Gonna Win Twins" down the stretch. Once upon a time (1991 during a Twins World Series run) I stood at a Dairy Queen window buying ice cream in a near blizzard (because the Twins had won the previous game and we'd had DQ that night) to keep a winning streak alive. They did win and I was not alone that night at the DQ. (Yeah, I'm that superstitious. Didn't we all learn from Crash Davis in Bull Durham that a player--or fan--has to respect the streak??)

5. Seasonal cuisine. No, not just the pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks (of which I'm not a fan) but pumpkin pies and soups, apple tarts and pies, casseroles, hearty stews, and mac & cheese. I can almost smell the caramelized onions for my French onion gratinee. Did someone mention pot roast with Yorkshire pudding?

6. Long shadows. There's a bright, almost harsh feel to summer due to the sun's high angles. Autumn is a gentler, more flattering light--it's a candlelight glow in comparison to summer's sometimes unkind glare. That glow showers us with fiery leaves and crisp blue skies during the day and offers Maxfield Parrish-esque sunsets as evening draws near. Parrish-colored night skies are among the best parts of the cooler fall weather. I don't even mind the shorter days that are part of our descent into winter, it's a good excuse to sit down with a warming glass of wine and steal a few extra minutes of reading or writing.

7. Okay, it really is all about the leaves. The aforementioned things are all lovely and I am looking forward to them, but let's not kid ourselves...this is New England and it is all about the leaves. Our beautiful, rolling hills and picturesque river valleys are decked out in their autumnal finest for the next few weeks. Tall, white steeples on old churches and meeting houses pierce the red and orange patchwork hillsides and gleam against the bluest of blue skies; rivers tumble over rocks and past pools with colorful leaves that float playfully downstream. Hell, they've even written songs celebrating it...Autumn in New York, Moonlight in Vermont! This is the season to don a sweater, toss away the map, grab your favorite apples and go for a good old-fashioned ramble along the by-ways of quintessential New England. Follow the earthy smell of the leaves to your favorite vista and just marvel. If you're short on inspiration--quelle horreur!--read a little Longfellow or Whitman or Frost, they'll get you sorted.

Oh, sweet September, how you've flown by, we hardly knew ye...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

pot roast w yorkshire pudding was a seasonal staple and fav in my fam as my stepdad is from near Newmarket--Bury St Edmunds, to be exact. Yum.