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Farewell Summer … Welcome Fall

September 5, 2011

“Summer isn’t measured so much by the calendar

as it is by the weightless days you move through.”

— Susan Okaty, Coming East

Here in San Diego, it feels strange to be saying good bye to summer when the weather stays fairly warm and (dare I say) sunny through a good part of November. But it is September and Labor Day Weekend (the traditional end of summer). So as this weekend comes to a close, I am bidding farewell to summer and welcome to autumn.

I’m envious of my many blogger friends who are lucky to experience the change of seasons and actually see summer turn to autumn visually around them. My friend Julia over at wordsxo showed on her Sunday video blog how the Maine coast and her garden were already showing the first signs of fall.

Of course, here in Southern California we mark the end of summer in the traditional ways many of you do: the Labor Day weekend BBQ; back to school; and changing the home and garden decor to fall leaves and apples. There are the other fall activities, such as apple picking and Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year).  And I already pulled out of storage our collection of fall children’s books for Sophie (and me) to enjoy.

This year we have our very own pumpkin patch growing in the backyard. And I’m so excited we now have four nearly full-size, not-yet-orange pumpkins to help symbolize the coming of fall.

I look forward to the winds shifting a bit and perhaps chillier evenings than before. Apples and squashes at the Farmer’s Market. Breaking out my long-sleeves, boots and jacket. Fall-scented candles and changing out my hand soaps to Bath and Body Works autumn flavors. And of course, the Starbucks pumpkin spice latte and pumpkin scone.

I’ll enjoy these fall symbols surrounding me as I burn my fall leaves candle and bask in the sunny San Diego September nightfall. These late-summer/early-fall evenings where the ceiling fans are now still, but the fresh air still streams through the open windows.

First evidence of fall in our backyard

Backyard Pumpkin Patch (Fall 2011)

 What are your fall traditions? Do you like the change from summer to autumn?

50 Comments leave one →
  1. September 5, 2011 3:48 am

    I love the “rituals” that go with the changing seasons. The pumpkins look great!

    • September 6, 2011 10:33 pm

      Thanks. I can’t imagine how much bigger they’ll get!

  2. September 5, 2011 5:46 am

    Leah, it’s 65f here in Michigan. It’s smells and feels like Autumn here and frankly I’m not ready.

    • September 6, 2011 10:34 pm

      Well, it ended up being close to 100F here in San Diego, plus rainy and humid. I think I jinxed the weather.

  3. September 5, 2011 6:02 am

    Your fall routines, activities and rituals n San Diego sound absolutely lovely… you may not have the more-dramatic cool down in weather that we will, but it sounds wonderful! And Sophie’s pumpkins are amazing! She (and you two) must be so excited! Are you using any for pumpkin pie — that’s the saddest part for me that our pumpkin plants didn’t produce this year, no fresh pumpkin pie. (p.s. thank you so much for the very nice shoutout — I appreciate it! I’ll be thinking about you as I watch the leaves change color and begin to fill our yard!)

    • September 6, 2011 10:34 pm

      I think I’ll have to come up with quite a few pumpkin recipes seeing as how many pumpkins we’re getting. Of course, need to same a few for jack-o-lanterns too.

  4. September 5, 2011 6:19 am

    With the cold morning and the apple pie gum I am chewing, it definitely feels like fall. Welcome, fall! This is the first year I’ve had to mow every week, and will like the break from it. 🙂

    • September 6, 2011 10:35 pm

      Apple pie gum — that sounds tasty! And a break from mowing is certainly a good thing!

  5. September 5, 2011 7:10 am

    I love your pumpkin patch! You’ve inspired me to embrace the changing season, even though we can’t feel it as much in San Diego. For me, fall means my morning walk happens before dawn instead of after, but on the bright side, I’ll be able to plant again when the summer heat has faded.

    • September 6, 2011 10:36 pm

      Oh yes, forgot about the time change and how it’s darker earlier. That’s the one part of fall I’m not terribly fond of. But it’s nice to have more light in the mornings too.

  6. September 5, 2011 8:51 am

    I LOVE fall! I’m so excited for the apple picking and all the fall foods (apple cider donuts!!)

  7. September 5, 2011 9:36 am

    I love your pumpkin patch too! It is a great harbinger of fall for those of us that feel our way through the season changes at our local Target. I find it mildly annoying that it is already Halloween and it is the first week of September. I love your reminder to take charge of the transition into fall, and celebrate our way with scents and sights in our own home. For me, it is fall when my liquid amber trees begin to change color. It has always been important to me to have some trees that change with the seasons, living in an area where the scenery and weather doesn’t change very much throughout the year. My Chinese lantern trees are dropping a snowy carpet of wee yellow flowers… Yes summer is nearing it’s end.

    • September 6, 2011 10:37 pm

      Let me be the first to agree with you, Kim, that I can’t stand the Halloween stuff out this early. I love Halloween more than any holiday. But I refuse to get my decor out no sooner than October 1. And I found it annoying the candy corns were already at Vons yesterday. Would love to see a picture of your Chinese lantern trees!

  8. September 5, 2011 9:36 am

    I’m envious of your pumpkins.

    Yesterday was apple pickin’. Today is pie makin’. I love fall because it’s time for me to pull out my enormous sweater collection and my soup recipes. But in honor of Labor Day I’m wearing my white sandals one more time.

    • September 6, 2011 10:38 pm

      I’m envious you went apple picking already! We did that last year for the first time and loved it. Good for you for keeping those white sandals on through yesterday.

  9. September 5, 2011 9:40 am

    YAY! I love your pumpkins! I used to be all about Fall and the fall weather, festivities and food. Then I developed an allergy to cinnamon and I miss out on a lot of the delicious fall baked goods. This year, I’ve decided to look on it as a cooking challenge and ENJOY fall and see what I can come up with!

    • September 6, 2011 10:38 pm

      An allergy to cinnamon? That must be awful. Cinnamon is one of my favorite flavors. I’m so sorry!

  10. September 5, 2011 10:39 am

    I grew up in Southern California (now living in San Francisco),the changes are slight in comparison to those that live in other parts of the world (as you noted). I note the seasonal changes by the types of meals I prepare, the barren trees, the piles of leaves on the ground, the color of the foliage. It’s my only clue because like you I will likely be wearing flip flops until early November.

    • September 6, 2011 10:39 pm

      Oh yes, the change in meals is a good signal of fall coming. I love making more soups and stews. It feels like fall, even if it’s 82-degrees outside.

  11. September 5, 2011 10:47 am

    Love your pumpkins in San Diego. Your blog reminded me of growing up in Ohio. I loved Spring, Summer (except humidity) and Fall, but I totally dislike winter. 26 years of it was enough . . . then off to sunny California. And I love it!

    • September 6, 2011 10:40 pm

      I probably have season-envy because I’ve never lived anywhere else than San Diego. My dad (who grew up in Connecticut) doesn’t understand how we don’t think this is perfect weather and seasons. Thanks for visiting, by the way.

  12. September 5, 2011 11:04 am

    Wow I love your pumpkin patch. I tried to grow one about 5 years ago and nothing happened so we gave up.

    It feels like fall here today in Missouri, I opened all the windows and doors it’s heavenly. I can’t wait for it to be here for good.

    • September 6, 2011 10:41 pm

      Thanks, Vicki! The first time we attempted pumpkins many years ago, it was a dud. But this time seemed to have stuck! Thanks for visiting.

  13. September 5, 2011 11:06 am

    Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Latte…you said the magic words for me, Leah. Now I’m getting excited!
    Like you guys we are still experiencing warm weather here in AZ. Still some time to go before the cool down. But you bet I am looking forward to it.
    Nice pumpkins. Sophie must be beside herself with excitment over them.

    • September 6, 2011 10:41 pm

      Yes, Sophie is quite excited about the pumpkins. As am I. Let me know how your first pumpkin spice latte of the season is!

  14. September 5, 2011 12:18 pm

    Whee! It’s cooled off here, only in the low 90’s. That’s the beginning of fall on the Texas Gulf Coast.

    • September 6, 2011 10:42 pm

      Low 90s?! Wow. But that is certainly cooler than it has been, right? Welcome fall!

  15. September 5, 2011 1:16 pm

    Here in Dallas we got a surprise day that has seen temps stay in the 80s. It might be a tease, but it definitely feels like fall *might* be coming. If nothing else, the return of college football and Halloween decorations in the stores has definitely signaled its commencement!

    • September 6, 2011 10:42 pm

      Ah yes, college football season! Always an indicator that fall is here.

  16. September 5, 2011 1:24 pm

    Loved the pictures, and thanks for using a quote from one of my posts! Made me feel good. We’re planning on driving up to Boston in October to see the fall foliage, and I should have some good pictures to show. When we lived in San Antonio, I taught and then was a school administrator, so I never could go back to the Northeast for the fall foliage. I went thirty years without seeing the leaves change. Our first fall trip after I retired, I actually started crying when I saw the beautiful leaves.

    • September 6, 2011 10:43 pm

      That is so touching! I have always wanted to go to New England for one of those fall foliage tours. I need to put it on my Bucket List. I’m envious of your trip. Please take lots of photos for me!

  17. September 5, 2011 4:53 pm

    How cool to have pumpkins in your backyard! I used to live with four seasons, but I found that I hated September because it meant the cold dark rainy days of October were soon approaching. I wish I loved the changing seasons, but as I age I want to see the sun. Lovely post, Leah!

    • September 6, 2011 10:44 pm

      Thanks, Annie. I can see where the seasons changing does take on different meaning as we grow. And like you, I’m not a big fan of the dark days either, especially when Daylight Savings kicks in. I like the sun out later in the day.

  18. September 5, 2011 4:54 pm

    Like you, I miss the changing of the fall seasons -until I start getting the calls from home that it’s snowing too soon, that the car doors are frozen shut with ice… Ha ha! I love your fall rituals; you made me think that I need to start some of my own – even though, ah hem, it’s still in the 100s here…

    • September 6, 2011 10:45 pm

      Isn’t there something in the hot AZ desert that symbolizes the coming of fall? You should write about that!

  19. September 5, 2011 6:25 pm

    Autumn is my favourite time of year, I absolutely love it. I am not a fan of the Summertime and love it when fall displays show up, pumpkins grow and Starbucks have their pumpkin spice latte made with Lacteeze milk! This is also the time that pre-Christmas craft shows start, which I am crazy about, so its a fun time of year. For years I had a basket on the table with the wierdest looking gourds I could find and tiny multicoloured corn. Lots of fun.

    • September 6, 2011 10:46 pm

      I also love the pre-Christmas craft shows! In fact, another one of my traditions is going to the annual Harvest Arts and Crafts Festival, which is usually late October. I love the fall decor, but also all the great Christmas stuff!

  20. September 5, 2011 9:38 pm

    Fall is my favorite season, although when the summer is mild like it was this year (in Nor Cal) I am not as enthusiastic to see summer end! But I love the feel in the air when the weather turns the corner. I look forward to baking all the fall flavors of pumpkin, apple and cranberry!

    • September 6, 2011 10:46 pm

      We Californians run the risk of when we have cooler summers, it will be a hot autumn. Lets hope that’s not the case this year. I too love baking with the smells of pumpkin, apple and cranberry. Yum!

  21. September 6, 2011 6:52 am

    Your pumpkins are lovely. I like the way you change themes around your home to reflect the seasons even if your region doesn’t. I can’t imagine living in an area where it’s warm so much of the year. Here’s wishing you a lovely Autumn of fun and smiles. 🙂

    • September 6, 2011 10:47 pm

      Thank you so much. Even though San Diego is nice, I do wish I can experience living elsewhere where I can enjoy the cool weather and changing of the seasons. So yes, that’s probably why I change my decor out for the fall and winter months.

  22. September 6, 2011 8:49 am

    Oh, I love opening the windows and warm apple cider.

    • September 6, 2011 10:47 pm

      Oh yes, the open windows, yet not too cold yet. Love it!

  23. September 6, 2011 10:39 am

    OK, you’ve gotten me officially excited about fall, my favorite season! I love the pumpkin lattes, too! Then I drink the chocolate peppermint ones during the winter. Today we’re having a ‘faux fall’ since a storm blew through and cooled everything off and it’s wonderful.

    • September 6, 2011 10:48 pm

      Glad I can help! Yes, for me I get excited about the pumpkin lattes because that means the gingerbread lattes are not far behind (and peppermint mochas). I hope you’re enjoying your cool days.

  24. September 6, 2011 3:19 pm

    Fall is my favorite time of year, and I too cannot wait to break out my chunky sweaters, boots, and yummy soup recipes! I’ll be sure to stop by for your pumpkin soup/pie/bread recipes. I’m sure you’ll post some wonderful ones once the crop is in!

    • September 6, 2011 10:49 pm

      Yes, Jolina, am planning to find some new recipes for all our pumpkins. Can’t wait to share them!

  25. September 13, 2011 4:49 pm

    Leah, I feel like your readers have been a part of the pumpkin growing activity all the way from seeds in a pack to full grown pumpkins! 🙂 I can’t wait to see them turn orange and more importantly, read what you will do with them once they’re ready to come off the vine. Will you decorate them and use them as part of your Halloween decor, or will you cook them, or both? I’m staying tuned!


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