Summer is the only season that I mourn as it passes. The one where I feel a sadness when the air changes from carefree hot days and warm nights to putting an extra blanket on the bed and shutting the windows. It always feels abrupt. Starting around the middle of August when the nights suddenly get a little shorter and the mornings darker. School supplies pop up and before you know it one day you’re having a picnic at the park with your kids and the next you’re waking them up early for the first day of school. Summer over. Because this one is hard for me to let go I decided I needed to focus on the things to love about fall. Here we go…
The slow down. Of course fall is a busy time with the start of school and return of activities, however the feeling of needing to cram in all things summer eases and brings with it relaxed weekends at home. Starting in June and ending Labor Day I pretty much make sure each weekend is filled with something…camping, hiking, going to the river or lake, vacation…we only get so many months around here so I think everyone feels the pressure to get it all in. To take full advantage of the warm months to hold us over through the long winter. While I love all of this, it feels good to slow it down. To let the weekends plan themselves, quiet down and no longer feel the need to have to do something every moment the sun is shining.
Harvest time. This is when the hard work of gardening all summer pays off. Finally, the tomatoes are red, the zucchinis are abundant and not one vegetable needs to be bought at the grocery store. For the month of September, and if we’re lucky, into October we eat fresh veggies every single day. Preserving what we can, sharing with friends what we can’t. Keeping an eye on the pumpkins hoping they get a little more time to get bigger. They are, after all, the star of the season which leads right into the next….
Pumpkin everything! For some reason we had some pumpkins ripen early this year. I was very resistant to seeing them at the beginning of August, in no way ready to be baking pumpkin bread or pie when all I want from the garden is bright red tomatoes. Now that we are firmly into September I can get on board with them.
The change in the air. I love, love, love the warmth of summer but when the air begins to change, a crispness comes along with it. A chill in the air that clears the smoke from the fires and feels fresh. The mountains look clearer, the sky a little bluer and all the colors brighter as the leaves change from green to golds and orange. We will have months of bare trees which is so sad, but the show we get before is worth it.
A quieter town. I’m pretty sure there’s no actual population change this time of year…I think the tourists leave right as the college students come back, but I feel like we get our town back come fall. The trails get quieter, restaurants easier to get into and the September Farmers Markets are always my favorite, not just because the produce is overflowing but less crowds. Summers in Bozeman back in the day were dead…college would get out and everyone fled. That obviously doesn’t happen anymore, but in fall I notice a subtle quietness settle over town.
Fall activities. There are just some things that go hand in hand with fall. MSU football games, going to Rocky Creek Farm for hay rides, apple cider and pumpkins, taking the family to the hay maze and getting ready for Halloween. So much to do to fill these lovely months.
Style change. I’m a girl so this has to be on the list. It is time to trade in the flip flops and shorts for boots and scarfs. This is always good.
Good bye sweet summer. I will miss you and look forward to your return. Hello fall. I welcome you with mostly open arms.
Angela Jamison is a native Montanan and she grew up in beautiful Bozeman. I'm the mother of two girls and write a blog about our life here and taking in the simple pleasures of family and food.