well, that was fun

My facebook post this morning:

Well. Despite a surgery in the middle of things, we did our best for Fall: We carved pumpkins, roasted seeds, wore our giant afro wigs (several times). I watched my "fall movies" and listened to lots of bluegrass, folk, and jazz. I constructed a lopsided fall wreath for the door and made my first pumpkin spice mousse pie. We found a leaf bigger than my head and ran through piles of them at the park. The burnt orange throw blanket, mugs, and scarf all got a good workout. We ate our way through three Thanksgiving dinners and most of our Giant Pile of Gourds... Not too shabby. I think we can safely pack last season in. Now - Advent and Christmas.

I drove home under bare branches this morning, most of Autumn's Glory fallen into the gutters and back alleys. Christmas inflatables slump on suburban lawns, awaiting their owner's return from work. (Deflated Christmas inflatables always look so sad to me.) Despite the bare trees and dejected Santas and Snoopys all over the neighborhoods, I am glad for the changing season. We enjoyed this last one thoroughly, and I'm ready to trade in my pumpkins for poinsettias.

Yesterday morning I cleared the sideboard and mantle to make way for our Advent decor. Today I'll wash the Fall tablecloths and we will do the Swapping of the Bins. Autumn goes back to the garage and Advent/Christmas comes inside. I've got a couple days to deck our halls a bit before our first holiday gathering.

So far, I feel peaceful, cheerful, and content. My goal is to maintain this feeling throughout the season. Simplify. Simplify. Simplify. (Isn't that always the answer?) People - not stuff. Or, more to the point for me: People - not perfect. In MM's words, keep the good parts; get rid of the stressful parts.

Keeping Advent is tricky for us. We work hard to balance the traditions and expectations of our community with our desire to enter into the quiet, anticipatory restraint of Advent. We have to carve out space for quiet in the midst of parties and concerts and seasonal hooplah. Yesterday, we carved out space by blowing off our Sunday chores to spend the afternoon reading, writing, and watching movies. Good call.

So, here's to the changing of seasons. Here's hoping you have enough Irish for your coffee and Swedish for your pancakes and that we all find a bit of peace and beauty this month.