The call for frost last night had me out in the garden first thing in the morning yesterday. Gathering the last of the tomatoes, the cucumbers that are still straggling in, and the rest of the basil.
Then I rushed to get a load of laundry on the line before the day got too far ahead of me. We've approached the time when the sun's warmth is only around long enough for one load to dry in a day, and it needs to get out there early.
The afternoon was spent 'putting the food by'. A few more jars of tomato sauce were added to the pantry shelves. Some more pesto was frozen. The freezer is nearing full, and the satisfaction I feel with each jar added is increasing.
And in the evening, firewood was the family task at hand. (Did you know that making funny faces is the key to a good chopping strategy? And that big sunglasses count for safety glasses? All true, I tell you. Though Calvin still kicks my butt in output.) We're approaching the end of the period of 'cut it, stack it, and give it enough time to dry' for the year. The point at which we need to just call it 'good' and hope it lasts.
This weekend we'll attend the much-anticipated by this family, tried and true annual mark of autumn for me - the Common Ground Country Fair. And we'll celebrate the harvest season with farmers and friends all over the state.
There's a little bit of a rush - an urgency, almost - in the air these days. Trying to get as much food prepared, as much wood ready, as many summer things 'done' as we can - before the days turn completely. It's a nice kind of rush, though. Full days - days full of hard work. The kind of 'home' and domestic work I didn't necessarily grow up doing, but the kind of work I'm grateful to choose some of for my family now. It's the kind of work that generations before me did without much thought. Age-old methods of winterizing and food preservation that I'm learning more and more about each year - happily alongside my kindred friends as we figure out each others' canning disasters, or identify the spots on each others' melon plants, and rejoice and share in each others successes.
All this preparing - it feels rhythmic and seasonal, and I can feel the pull towards home and hearth coming straight from the earth. But there's, of course, an extra pull of 'preparing' that we're experiencing this harvest season. And that's getting closer too.
The pumpkins will ripen and pass before this baby arrives. But soon after that, at the end of this harvest season, we'll have so much more to give thanks for.