The last time I experienced Autumn, I was starting off my second to last semester of college, living in a cold little house in Missoula, and had not yet met Kevin. That year a deep, early cold froze all of the leaves while they were still green. They crumpled, and fell, and that was that. The next two years, we left in early August for Antarctica. We completely missed fall, jumping from the heyday of summer heat to the depths of the deepest winter.
This year, without the promise of penguins, icebergs, and Big Red coats, I eagerly watched as the temperatures slowly dropped and kept an eagle’s eye out for any hint of a transitioning leaf. As soon as the first tree turned yellow, we dropped everything and ran over for a photo shoot and several cheers of delight. This is my favorite season, the one that has sunny afternoons, but still allows for big bowls of soup for dinner, tights and cardigans, and lighting an evening fire. There are the two best holidays of the year; what’s better than costumes and being thankful? Every day holds an excuse to bake. I go for long walks, collecting leaves as I go and cheering on the geese as they journey overhead. Autumn is the best, and I am so excited to be reveling in it once again.
Crisp air and crunchy leaves have replaced haze and smoke as autumn turns full bore on the Bitterroot valley. Bright yellow, crimson reds, and the refreshing blue of clear skies dominate the landscape. Oversized pumpkins and butternut squash adorn porches and yards alongside elaborate Halloween decorations. Chilly evenings find cozy smoke rising from houses along empty streets as we bundle up to take a pre-dinner spin on our bikes. Upon arriving home, toes and fingers chilled and numb from the autumn air, warm soups and fresh baked bread await to warm our digits and our bellies. This being our first real fall since 2009, along with finally being rid of smoke, makes for a truly magical and memorable change of the seasons.
I’ve started into my new job, which is going great so far. Most of the time my job has me driving around Western Montana, discovering a region new to me, and getting to see truly awesome scenes of the American West. It also has me working in very upscale homes, some of which are worth multiple millions. It has made for a good juxtaposition with the scenes of extreme poverty we saw earlier this year in India. The only downside is that Elizabeth and I don’t get to spend as much time together as us are accustomed to. Being apart so much isn’t very fun, but she sure is wonderful to come home to.