Apple sauce

There is something about the first cold Sunday of fall.  The air is brisk and moist and   refreshing.  Everything seems sharper; the smell of leaves and pine and cold water come swirling along on the wind, and the sky is always so blue that it shocks me.

On the first cold Sunday of fall, we make our first fire in the woodstove, and we soak up the dry woodsy heat as we go through our daily routine.  And on that first cold Sunday, I always cook all day, so that we are surrounded by comfort foods and comfort smells.

Today is that first day of true fall.  The fire is lit, the pine needles have been swept off the deck.  There is a chicken in the oven, and a sugar pumpkin has been baked and mixed with maple syrup.  I made home made cranberry sauce and there is a pan of scalloped potatoes baking.

A few minutes ago, I grabbed four fresh Macintosh apples, and cooked them down into sweet cinnamony apple sauce.

Everything is cozy, and safe and comforting as we sit in the living room, watching football and reading the Sunday paper.

Everything should be just about perfect, but it isn’t.

The first cold Sunday of fall should be filled with the sound of my children playing in the yard.  The pumpkin should have been carved with their little hands to scoop out the seeds for roasting.  The apples should have been cut with their help, the leaves raked into piles just made for jumping.  The warm, bright house should be holding them close, keeping them happy and safe.

It just isn’t the same with only Paul and I to pull on the wishbone after dinner.

20 thoughts on “Apple sauce

  1. My mouth is watering, and my spirit is lifted. Thanks for this post. It’s our first real-feeling fall day, too. Autumn is my favorite time of year. Yes, each fall is different—your peeps have spread their wings, flown in different directions, and experiencing their own fall day right now. I wonder what my oldest peep is doing today. Our pumpkins are still in the garden awaiting her next visit. I can’t bring myself to harvest them just yet. That is a child’s chore, shared as a mother’s simple joy.
    May you enjoy your new fall day.


      • Heck, why not just put them on a speaker call, or start a Google hangout? Or are they like my little peep? I’m lucky if I’m able to connect with her on some days. She’s living her own life now, probably not even thinking of me, despite my longings and reminiscing.


  2. Oh I know what you mean. Visited college sons this weekend and wondered if that little tightening in my throat as I said good bye will ever disappear. One of the things I really miss is trick or treating…


    • Every fall is hard for me. I want to be getting new shoes, and new backpacks. I want to buy special school snacks. Those little juice boxes make me tear up. Are your boys at the same college?


  3. Ugh, you are killing me! Where is a tissue when I need one? These posts always make me so sad, but truly they are just what a mother with a 7- and 9-year-old needs to keep things in perspective. So as always, I appreciate the reminder because today was nearly such a day in my house and I often take it for granted.


    • So do you live close enough by to bring those kids over here next weekend? You can go relax, and I can bake a pie with some kids……!?
      What does make me sad is that I don’t think I really appreciated those days when I was living them. 😦


      • You know, it is so hard when you’re in the moment. You have laundry to do, dishes to put away, and you’re just tired or grumpy. I remind myself constantly to enjoy it. I bet you did too or you wouldn’t miss it so much. 😉

        I’m in NC. I think you are far away from here. I have two little bakers too.


      • Thats a good reminder: I need to remember to enjoy THESE moments, too. Time to relax with my husband, time to learn new things, go to new places. Looking back too much isn’t healthy, I know; it helps to be reminded of that! Enjoy those little bakers; one fun thing about my life now is that my kids now cook for me (and they’re goooooood!)


  4. In addition to a novel, you should write a children’s book. My favorite book about seasons is Tasha Tudor’s, Around the Year. I have it displayed in the guest room – former little girl’s room 😦 and turn the page each month. This month a big orange pumpkin is resting under the table where the book is displayed (honestly, if it were not for her book, I probably would have skipped buying a pumpkin). Your description of fall surpasses Tudor’s illustrations and poetry (I first read Around the Year when I was 5 so consider that a huge compliment).


    • Oh, I love Tasha Tudor! Those beautiful, gentle images were part of my growing up, too!
      Thank you for the compliment! I wish I could use words to conjure up a little time machine……


  5. Personally, I love the smell of October. It makes me think of ghosts and goblins, camping in the woods, and reading Ray Bradbury, who often set his stories in the fall.

    Hmmm — do you have any friends or relatives with young kids you can invite over for a brunch or even just a coffee? They might enjoy getting out of the house and going somewhere their children are welcome (for a change), and the ‘noise’ might help fill the gap…

    And, of course, I do agree with EF — at some point there will be grandkids!


  6. If wish I could drop by and enjoy all of your good cooking…….not the same as kids but your nest would not be empty and I would be happy .:-)


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