In the Willamette Valley, warm dry October afternoons are deeply unsettling. Natives are especially nervous, eying the blue skies like there is something fundamentally wrong with golden sunshine. And then, one day, the clouds roll in, smelling of the sea. Deep grey, they drop the sky down to a more human scale, and then, more come. And more. Soon, they bump up against the Cascades and flow back over the valley. One afternoon, the rains begin. In my north-facing classroom, we look up. Cross-country runners calculate the rainfall and potential mud creation quickly, and smile. Readers snuggle deeper into their minds, looking forward to the long evenings curled up in bed, reading and listening to the quiet conversations of the rain. The ceiling of our world descends, snugging us all in for the long winter nights, and everything feels right once again
Other signs of Autumn:
· Wool socks
· Squash in the Larder
· Winter Wheat colors the fields a deep green.
· Fuzzy pants in the evening
· Cats nap all day long
· Fires on Sunday mornings.
· Pumpkins everywhere!
Sugar Cookies from 1957
3/4 c of soft shortening (half butter)
1 c sugar
.5 t vanilla
Add 2.5 c flour, 1 t BP, and 1 t salt
Mix and chill for an hour or so. Then, roll out and cut into leaf shapes.
Bake in 350 degree oven until golden.