Friday Fun: The Work of Fall

Friday Fun is a group post from the writers of the NHWN blog. Each week, we’ll pose and answer a different, get-to-know-us question. We hope you’ll join in by providing your answer in the comments.

QUESTION: Poetry of the season aside, Fall in Northern New England means chores. Which chores do you like? Which do you loathe? And which ones do you still have to do?

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dll2013Deborah Lee Luskin: I love putting the garden to bed – a gradual process, as I still have leeks, Brussels Sprouts, greens and some herbs to pick. And I love taking down the screens and washing the windows. But raking leaves? Not my favorite. And taking the car in for snow tires? Least favorite of all. I’d rather split wood and keep the fire burning than drive anywhere in the snow.

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hennrikus-web2Julie Hennrikus: I used to own a house, but am now a (spoiled) condo dweller with no seasonal chores. Even my windows don’t need the screens changed out. And I live on the fourth floor, so washing windows is a challenge. My folks have a summer house, so my fall chores are two fold. Helping them get ready to close it up, which means stripping beds, putting bedding in bags, taking condiments home. And the second step is going back later in the fall to make sure the plumber was there, and that all the possible mouse entry points are sealed up. Cause trust me, mice can do some damage over the course of a winter.

headshot_jw_thumbnailJamie Wallace: Though I live in a house, it’s a rental, so I am not hard bound to perform any seasonal chores of the outdoor variety. My autumn To Do list, is more about bringing the year to a close, preparing for the holidays, and making sure I’ve got everything we’ll need when the snow flies.

My least favorite chore is shopping. As the mother of an always-growing nine-year-old (she’s already nearly as tall as me and wears the same size shoe), each season brings a long list of outgrown paraphernalia that needs to be replaced. Winter is the worst. This year, we’ll be in the market for snow pants, ski pants, boots, and possibly a new parka. Thank goodness at least the hats, gloves, and scarves still fit. I’m pretty sure we’ll also be needing new flannel PJs, a bathrobe, and some fuzzy socks. (Winter in New England just isn’t complete without fuzzy socks.)

My favorite chore is finding time to sit quietly and take stock of the year – what I’ve done, what I have yet to do, and what I have to admit I won’t get to. For me, this is a meandering process that takes place during found moments over the course of the season. I’ll do a little bookkeeping one day, some file organizing for another, and leave the ritual of reviewing my list of intentions and accomplishments for a day when I can take the whole cozy afternoon to reflect.

As for holiday preparation – that are a love/hate “chore” that is much to psychologically complex for me to discuss here. 😉

Lisa J. JacksonLisa J. Jackson: I’m blissfully no longer a homeowner, either. I love the ease of renting because everything is done for me! No more leaves to gather and mulch, no trading out screens for winter panes, no pruning. It’s fabulous! The only fall task I really have is cleaning out the wardrobe — getting rid of clothes I haven’t worn for the past 6 or so months, moving the summer clothes to the back and bringing the warmer clothes to the front of drawers and closets. I like doing that, it’s spring cleaning, but in the fall. Thanks to Julie mentioning cleaning windows, I realize the slider to my deck is a bit, um, icky, and it might be worthwhile to clean the glass so the sunshine can warm the room! (Thanks, Julie.)

wendy-shotWendy E.N. Thomas: Love the fall – love the transition it brings. As a home and chicken owner, there are many things we need to do to get ready for the coming winter. Rake lawns, put away outdoor furniture, inspect the hen house, and generally get ready for snow. As a mom, fall is also the time I break out the hearty meals – stews and roasted meat recipes are dug out from where’s they’ve been hiding since last year. It’s a very nurturing time for me.

Fall is also a time to start planning for the holidays, arrangements need to be made for kids to come home, holiday meals have to be planned, bedrooms made welcome, and just the perfect gifts for Christmas need to be found. It’s a time for all of us to return home, where we suspend our ideas of dreary reality and instead believe in the magic that being together during the holidays always bring.

Diane MacKinnon: Diane MacKinnon, MD, Master Certified Life CoachFall is a time when I start thinking about the holidays and family gatherings. I start my Christmas list and decide start talking with my sisters about who’s going to host Thanksgiving dinner and who’s going to host Christmas dinner. I don’t do too many outdoor chores. Taking the screens down has become my husband’s job and I think he took down the hummingbird feeder this year. We have a riding lawnmower that has a snow plow attachment and I’ve had to help get the chains on the tires before, and that is not a fun job–usually because we wait until the snow is falling and our hands are freezing on the metal chains.

I love soups and stews so I get excited to start making those kinds of meals around this time of year. I also like planning the holiday meals. All this talk about food is making me hungry!

10 thoughts on “Friday Fun: The Work of Fall

  1. I remember the tree colors that contrasted with the olive drab at Ft. Devens in the fall 1956. By the end of each day the streets and lawns were clear of the fallings and it leaves little to the imagination who had the task of leaf removal.
    We do have some color contrasting deciduous vegetation here in the Pacific Northwest but the removal chore is not so taxing as it was then. After record rains in September we have near record sunny days this October.
    My pumpkins were the last of the harvest and some have already been converted to pie by my good cook wife. The rest of the garden has been tilled in in preparation for the spring planting.
    I have not seen one woolly bear this fall. Is that a sign of a non-winter winter coming up?

    • I don’t know about the northwest, but here in the northeast, the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a cold and snowy winter. I’ve seen more woolly bears this season than I have in a long while. I’ve performed many rescues – getting the little critters off the roads and sidewalks and into the safe haven of grass and leaves. Here’s a picture I took of one such rescue: http://instagram.com/p/e7DzebxKwp/ 🙂

  2. My favorite fall chore is definitely stacking firewood–and so much the better if there’s a crockpot full of cider mulling in the kitchen and a fire for burning leaves and brush outside. Having moved to an apartment in an urban location this past summer, I’m missing out on a lot of my favorite outdoor chores. Still, I can always mull cider!

  3. I don’t really have fall chores at my apartment, but I know I need to go sweep the spider webs and dirt from the deck in anticipation of (I hope) winter rains. I actually love sitting under an awning, wrapped in a blanket, reading a book, while the rain falls around me. 🙂

  4. I’m OCD about my floors 🙂 There’s something so nice about fresh, clean floors under your feet. I love vacuuming and mopping.

  5. …well this is strange for me ‘cos I’m in Oz so it’s spring here …I love the fall! The strangest things is that we celebrate Christmas when summer is at its peak …very odd …Christmas dinner with all the trimmings in sweltering high summer heat …I decided to be kind to myself this year and be a little less traditional and then to have a family gathering for Christmas in June/July! In the garden it’s planting time …seeds and seedlings …just love the garden; we’re on 20 acres and close to attaining self-sufficiency.

  6. I’m with Jamie Wallace. I don’t have much to do seeing as I live in a rental. I like to bring the year to a close and reflect on any accomplishments (both small and large) and my goals for the coming year 🙂

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