Sunday, September 30, 2012

10 things I love about autumn

This week's Monday Listicle is "10 Autumn Must-Haves." Here we go!

 1. Beautiful Portland September weather
Walking across the bridge
We have had the most spectacular weather this fall. Summer always starts late here (after July 4 is the joke), but it lingers. My father-in-law liked the notion of "St. Luke's Little Summer," which means nice days in the autumn. It's been so nice that Mike and I have both been taking advantage of it as much as we can by taking lots of walks. Last week he came into my office so we could both get flu shots, and we took a long walk downtown and across the Hawthorne Bridge. 

2. A Farmers Market
One of Nicholas' first trips to the market (2006)
We are regulars at the Portland Farmers Market, but we haven't been going as frequently this year as we usually do. We bought so much produce last Saturday that we decided not to go this weekend, as we still hadn't made our way through it all. Portland has so many great farmers markets, but we love the urban vibe of the one downtown. We've been going regularly since our children were quite little.

3. A wonderful birth month of celebrations!
My sister and me, celebrating our birthdays (2010)
My birthday is October 6, and my sister's follows close behind on October 22. My brother's girlfriend has a birthday in October, too! I've always loved the fact that my sister and I share a birth month, and I was thrilled to meet someone (now one of my close friends) who shares my birthday (we have a 10-year gap). I'm looking forward to the upcoming week (and month) of celebrations, as my family loves birthdays!

4. A Halloween parade, with kids who love Halloween!
Halloween Parade, with Kieran as Dracula (2010)
And boy, do I have kids who love Halloween. Kieran (age 9) starts planning his Halloween costume in November! Our elementary school has a great Halloween parade. This year Kieran is plotting to be Audrey 2 from Little Shop of Horrors, which I think is just a mite ambitious!!

Kieran also desperately wants to have a Halloween party, but it appears that I will be having my neurosurgery in late October, so no Halloween party this year!

5. A school carnival
With Kieran at the carnival (2009)
Well, I'm not sure that it's a must-have, but the kids would think so. Our school carnival is always held in October before Halloween, and I must admit it's not my favorite event of the year. Hordes packed into a hot gymnasium, kids running around like mad, and my kids winning all sorts of junk (more clutter!). I might be missing it this year, depending on my surgery date, and I can't say I will be upset!!

6. Fleecy pajamas
I was just commenting to my mom today about how much I love warm, fleecy pajamas! In the fall and winter when I come home from work, I change into my pajamas, much to Mike's amusement. It just doesn't seem worth it to change from my work clothes into jeans, when I can be really comfortable in fleecy warmth from top to bottom. Fortunately, I've discovered that this might be a female thing...other women in my book group have confessed to this tendency as well. And some of them even bring their slippers to book group! These are highly intelligent women who value comfort! The best thing about colder weather is wearing my comfy PJs! I love to be warm and cozy.

Family pre-Nicholas (2005) at the pumpkin patch
7. Pumpkins!
I don't think that pumpkin patches were such a huge business when I was a kid. We always carved pumpkins, but we wouldn't go out to farms where they have trains, boats, trebuchets, and other various pumpkin attractions...not to mention charging all the pumpkin tourists an arm and a leg for the pumpkin that they would get for half the price in the store! But the kids love them, so we are all game, aren't we? 

Apple Festival (2008)

8. Scarecrows
The apple festival at the Portland Nursery has a scarecrow-decorating festival every year. We haven't been for a few years, mostly because we try to buy organic apples, but the few times we have gone it's been fun. 

9. Thankfulness
In several years past, I've focused on thankfulness during November by listing some of the things I'm thankful for in my life. It's always a meaningful exercise!

10. Thanksgiving with my family
My extended family used to gather a lot more frequently than we do now, but Thanksgiving and Christmas are always great family affairs. I look forward to seeing my aunt and uncle and cousins who live in Seattle, who usually make it down only once a year, and all of my other aunts, uncles, and cousins. And we always eat really well!
Last Thanksgiving with my sister and all of my female cousins!
So much fun! (Can you guess who is the oldest?)

I hope you enjoyed my weekly list. You can check out some others at Stasha's blog


  1. I totally agree with the farmers markets. They are great this time of year.

  2. Love the idea of farmer's markets close by. We lots of farms but it's just not the same. More than a little jealous. Erin

  3. Happy soon to be birthday! I celebrate my birthday for a whole month too. :) Portland seems lovely. I'll have to put it on my list of must-visit-cities.

  4. With so many festivities do you even get the chance to wear PJ's? Love the photos, you have such a happy family.

  5. Yes, Portland is a really lovely city--it's hard to imagine living anywhere else.

    Thanks for the comments! Maybe I should propose a book group meeting in PJs!! :)

  6. Love your list, fellow west coaster! And I agree as a retired preschool teacher, I miss Halloween with children! So cute in their costumes, and doing fun arts and crafts! New to your blog and look forward to following!

  7. Yay--another west coaster! I will check out your blog, too! I'm sitting her in my fleecey pajamas at the moment!! :)

  8. wonderful! i'm with you on many of these. was just thinking yesterday that it's time to go buy some warm flannel PJs. I love the clarity of the air on crisp fall days with a breeze, the slant of the sunshine, apples, pears, squash, the sense of new beginning enhanced by a sense of richness of the year past....on and on! Hope you have a wonderful fall and recover quickly from your upcoming surgery. you're a strong spirit!


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