As the sticky heat of summer surrenders to the refreshing cool of fall, my favorite season begins.
From spring to summer, the only real change is more heat and less rain. But the slide of summer into fall means crisp nights that are perfect for sweatshirts and hot cocoa; beautiful fiery leaves clinging to trees lining the roads and peeking out from behind houses; and frost sparkling in the bright morning sun.
Fall is also when some of my favorite activities happen. Back to school, National Novel Writing Month, Thanksgiving, Halloween, and my birthday all happen in the fall (though back to school seems to be creeping farther and farther into the summer). Then there’s apple picking, pumpkin hunting and carving, and hay rack rides with hot apple cider.
The view from by grandma's back porch in Penn.
I look forward to fall every year, but this year I have a few new reasons. With the baby due soon, I’ll have another birthday to celebrate as the days grow short and the nights get chilly. I love birthdays and having parties just to celebrate another year of life. I also love to make birthday cakes. My daughter has had at least one every year, everything from butterflies to mermaids and horses. Invariably, my daughter will walk into the kitchen when her cake is half done and tell me: “It doesn’t look very good” or “I don’t think that’s going to work” or (my personal favorite) “That’s not what I wanted at all,” but once I pipe that last flower, sea urchin, or rosette she is able to see the grand plan, and suddenly I’m the hero of the day. (If only I could get her to remember that from year to year.)
This year, the best part of moving from summer to fall has been the return of my ankles. With my daughter, I was at my most pregnant in early July, so it was hot, but not the infamous “State Fair Hot” that all Iowans are familiar with. My feet would swell daily and I lived in flip-flops, but thankfully it was only for the last few weeks. This time, things were a little different. There was a stretch of about six to eight weeks where my poor feet were unrecognizable as feet. If I slept with them elevated, they looked a little better for a few hours in the morning, but it rarely lasted past 10 am.
Then the weather started to cool and the humidity dropped off, and suddenly I had my feet back. I could wear shoes again! Putting socks on and getting the shoes tied is still quite a production, but I’m managing.
So, while the highlight of the seasonal shift this year is the return of my feet and ankles, I know that that is only temporary, and soon will be eclipsed by the joy I’ll feel as I hold this perfect new person for the first time. I’m already looking forward to Thanksgiving (mere days after the baby should arrive) when I’ll have one more thing to be thankful for, and I’m even looking on to next year when I’ll have another life to celebrate, another cake to bake. I can’t wait to find out if it will be a flower or a fire truck.