Smelling the decorations.

It’s the time of year when I go into the garden and get high on the aromas coming from the earth and the air. My immediate impulse is to take pictures of all the plants and trees that are making me love them and making me happy. I get them uploaded and find out that actually nothing looks that great: shriveling tomato vines with rotting fruit and flies underneath; weeds mixed in with the leaves blown in from the neighbors; redwood branches cluttering the surface and bottom of the swimming pool.

Around here, the excitement is coming through the senses other than the visual. Just taking some time to skim the debris poms 14from the pool somehow feels fallish to me, and is very relaxing, as I listen to the blip-blip of the water, and make things tidier there. Even though the afternoons have been hot, you can tell that it’s not summer, maybe because the rays of the sun are coming at a slant so the heat is less direct.

At the market, I’m back to the visual; heaps of pumpkins look extravagant and appropriate, signifying the abundance coming from the farms. From the highway I can see fields of corn, some of which will be carved out with paths to make a maze for the schoolchildren to wander through. And on my kitchen counter fields of tomatoes look normal for this time of year.

For many years I’ve made a habit of buying a pumpkin or two, to put on our front step, but this year I’m restraining myself. They never look as nice when I separate them from the crowd where they seem to belong, especially when squeezed into a corner on the concrete by the door. I’m not ppump bread joy 14repared to spend a bundle to buy a crowd of them with which to make a mountain on our dead lawn, though this would be the year of opportunity!

So this time, I will enjoy looking at the piles at the stores — or on Pinterest. To add to our tomato decor I bought some pomegranates, which fit better in our space, and turned out to be much more economical.

But wait — I’m not going to forsake pumpkins altogether. My favorite market didn’t have any little pie pumpkins today, but soon I will find some and invest in a couple of them so that I can have the best fruit for cooking up a pie or bread like DIL Joy brought us last weekend. That’s the way to turn a visually pleasing pumpkin into an olfactory autumn event. Mmm-mm.


8 thoughts on “Smelling the decorations.

  1. The smells are what I love best this time of year. That smoky smell of dying leaves. And how clear the air is, even though it’s still getting hot here, too. It’s like you said — it’s not the same as summer heat.


  2. Oh, I so hear and smell what you’re saying. As I walk around I smell that earthy decay of leaves and see the last of the calendula flowers with bees sucking every last drop of nectar from them. The carrots are still underground and I dig just a few as we need them. The potatoes too. I’m noticing how the sun comes into my kitchen window now which doesn’t happen in summer. We’re cool here morning and evening but we get a patch of sunny warmth about noon. I love it all. Pomegranates are one of my favorites, and who can resist pumpkin pie (or pumpkin anything)?


  3. Ah, loved this autumn-y post! I’ve never made anything from scratch with a real pumpkin. Always from a can. It sounds so…Little House on the Prairie-ish! I might have to try that sometime. 🙂 Keep inhaling those autumnal aromas!


  4. I am so glad that you are here in California and can share the beauty that is all around us.
    The title of this post says it so well, that is what I do each and every day. I think it is sublime.
    I have been sadly disappointed in my pumpkins, I had to go through and throw so many away. I picked them to early to try and save them and the heat did the damage.
    I have a few left.
    I hope you have a wonderful fall weekend. It is cooling off bit by bit and I am finding it so perfect right now each and every day.
    I continue to pray daily.


  5. Pumpkin bread baking fills the house with a joyful smell, doesn’t it? It’s funny how we’re all still talking about summer, and how it’s warm but not quite as hot as summer. For goodness sakes, it’s mid-October!! Summer is two months ago! I’m very ready for Real Autumn. Sigh. I love your pomegranates — very beautiful. Good idea.


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