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One for Home, One for Home-Away-From-Home

October 7, 2009

Autumn Mantel

Please, accept my sincere apologies for my unintended absence the past two (!?!) weeks.  I wish I had a good story to tell you, something wild and crazy that kept me away.  Alas, I have a whole pocket-full of nothings that have kept me from visiting with you (and all of my friends).  

One small thing I’ve done over the past two weeks was pull out the Autumn decorations which adorn our mantel.  There isn’t another season that brings me such joy as Fall.  I seem to have the opposite feeling of many of my friends, while they look at Spring as the season of new life, I see Fall as a new beginning.

Perhaps the reason I feel that way is because Fall is the beginning of a new school year, which, ultimately is what life centers around as a child.  Does that mean I haven’t quite grown up yet?  Regardless of why I’m so polar-opposite of everyone else, seeing new life instead of the inevitable decaying of nature to make way for the coming of cold, I love Fall.  Besides Christmas, Fall is the only season I decorate for.

It never ceases to amaze me as I pull the Fall decorations out of the storage closet, trudge downstairs and tug the lid off.  It’s not much, a banner for the mantel, a few pumpkin baskets, a tealight holder, some glittery pumpkins covered in shiny beads… then, my breath catches as my hand caresses tissue and the memories come with a rush.


Our first Fall as a married couple, I bought a craft pumpkin and drew a little design on it then asked The Husband and my brother to punch holes where I’d drawn.  Of course, they went at it with an ice pick, barring their chests and roaring like lions only to grow frustrated a few minutes later and attack it with the power drill and treat it like a man.  They also cut a hand-sized hole in the top for me to work the insides.  Leaving all childhood pumpkin lessons behind, they wanted the hand hole to be even. They kept at it with sandpaper and a small carving knife… making the hole, of course, larger than the top so that it dropped down into the pumpkin.  Ahh!  Afterward, I poked Christmas lights through the holes in the cute swirly pattern.  Each year we’ve taken the pumpkin out and chuckled at the top that falls into the pumpkin and watched as the lights slowly stopped lighting.

The first year The Husband was deployed over Fall, I dashed out at the first sign of the craft pumpkins and bought a smaller pumpkin than the one with the sloppy top.  I, too, attacked the pumpkin with an ice pick only to swiftly give in to the drill.  I punched the holes, weaved in the lights and sent it in a box to The Husband.  I couldn’t let him not have Fall without a little bit of home with him.

Each year I pull out the decorations I get a little nostalgic.  I see the tissue paper guarding something special and my heart is flooded with memories without him.  Inevitably, The Husband will see the decorations, wrap his arms around me and kiss my cheek and forehead.  His eyes, which speak so many unspoken words bore into my heart and whisper, I’m home.

This year, the first pumpkin, the larger of the two, only made it a week before we had to give in and hand it over to the trash man.  Only half of the lights were working, a sad reflection of the time that has passed.  We’ll do another pumpkin this weekend for the homefront.

Product spotlights (do you care?) and a few more randoms: The jack-o-lantern tealight holder was a gift from my Uncle when we first moved to KS (you can get one here or here).  It is, in all honesty, the only piece of Halloween decoration I own.  I have an unreal distaste for Halloween.  The only thing I like about Halloween are the memories of trick-or-treating with my nephews along with the never-ending tradition of mom’s chili and warm apple cider simmering on the stove.  The chili and cider was a welcome treat after we returned from hours in the mist-soaked streets of Kansas City.  The banner is something I made a few years ago with scrapbook paper and mini laundry pins.  The candles, oh… the candles!  Thanks to my friend Sarah, I have a new candle obsession (don’t get me wrong, I still love Yankee, but seriously… you have to try them!).  The lit candle is Mulled Cider, the unlit jar candle is Mulled Harvest.  If you like good quality candles with maximum scent, these are the candles for you.

Come back tomorrow for a corn-chowder that will blow your socks off!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 7, 2009 21:52

    What a nice post and great story. Adorable pumpkin too. 😉

  2. October 7, 2009 22:01

    Cute banner! I love fall too. Sadly I won’t get to decorate for fall since my husband & I are moving soon. =(

  3. October 8, 2009 10:03

    I love how you decorated the pumpkin! I might try that this year. 🙂

  4. Molly Shaw permalink
    October 14, 2009 18:31

    NO WONDER we liked each other instantly. Fall is my favorite too, as well as trying new soups, stews and stoups! Go Get Girl in Vegas! You will rock!

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