12 October 2014

Twelve Things I'm Missing About New England

London is lovely in the fall, but lately I've been yearning for the familiar.
Here are twelve things I'm missing about New England in these autumn months:

1.) Everyone actually being in agreement of the season’s name — it’s fall. (In England, it’s autumn. I am corrected often.)

2.) Apple Orchards — I wish I had spent more time at Honey Pot Hill. It was so pretty there in the fall, and it smelled of cider donuts, pumpkin spice, and bales of hay. You could get rides on tractors that would wind through the trees. If you wanted, you could get an old wooden ladder to use while you picked apples. If you could balance on the top rung, you would be able to see the golden sun above you and the whole orchard stretch out below you.

3.) Canning Season — Mum, Nana, and Auntie would make homemade applesauce, chicken soup, salsa, and chili and can them all in Mason jars for winter storage. They would last all year. The house was so warm when it was full of food and family, and it was always so cosy in our yellow country kitchen. (Sidenote: the kitchen is light green now, and it has all new furnishings. I miss the yellow walls and crackle-painted cabinets more than I thought I would.)

4.) My Favourite Road — There’s this road on Route 20 that we always used to take to get to Waltham. When Joe and I were little, Mum and Matt used to try to convince us that a hippo lived in the lake beneath the overpass. Finally, when I started driving, it became my favourite road. In the fall, the leaves would all change and it would look like you were driving right into an Impressionist painting.

5.) My Corona — When the weather got cool, I used to take my typewriter outside with me and sit under the trees and type away. I used to get so lost in my own head, I loved having an escape in my own backyard. My dad got me that typewriter, and of all the things I wish I could have brought with me to university, that's a big one. I miss it a lot, that machine is magic.

6.) Pillsbury Halloween Cookies — You can’t have a holiday without them. England seems to be doing fine without Pillsbury in general. (I, on the other hand, am missing it terribly.)

7.) Eloise — She may have been a Christmas kitty, but there’s something about a black cat peering out the window of an old white house that is just so fitting for October.

8.) The House — My used to put little broomsticks and pumpkins by the doors, and the black-iron lantern would swing when the wind picked up. The leaves would always sweep into our yard because of the breeze that carried up the hill. Everyone used to get so annoyed about it because of all the extra yard work, but I loved watching the leaves swirl and scatter.

9.) Yankee Candles: Autumn Wreath & Pumpkin Spice  October and November are nothing without the warm glow of those candles. Unfortunately, we can’t have candles in our building on campus, and I’ll admit that it feels nothing like home without them.

10.) The Chestnut Tree — There’s a very old tree in my grandparents’ front yard that drops chestnuts bigger than golf balls; you have to be careful where you walk because you could get knocked on the head, or turn an ankle on a chestnut concealed by the grass. It was always sort of nature's timeline that told us autumn was coming even before the calendar could. I think the tree is dying now, but I can still smell the chestnuts in the cold grass if I think back to it.

11.) Vampire Weekend’s Modern Vampires of the City — When this album came out, Julia and I listened to it on repeat for the entire fall season. I started calling her “Hanna” because of the song “Hannah Hunt” and I don’t think I’ve called her Julia once since then. "Diane Young" was a song for jumping around in the leaves. "Hudson" was spooky and particularly eerie as it had the same name as our hometown. "Young Lion" reminded me of the lions at the library.

12.) Dozing Lions at the Library — They may be stuck in a perpetual slumber, but in the fall, their dreams and the dead leaves are whisked away by the wind.

I'll admit, it's especially hard to be away from home during my favourite season. 
As far as I'm concerned, autumn is all that matters in the long slump of the year. 
Halloween and Thanksgiving are my favourite holidays, 
and not being in Massachusetts, immersed in the blazing colours and richness of the season, 
well, it's proving to be more difficult than I expected.

Lots of Love,
Miss Monica Jean