Fall is here!
Looking back over our first 12 months in Germany, autumn was definitely my favorite season.
This year, though, the summer heat seemed a little more bearable for some reason. Maybe it really was milder; maybe my body has become more accustomed to the temperatures and lack of air conditioning; maybe we were able to escape it just often enough; or maybe I simply needed the Vitamin D so badly, I didn’t mind as much.
Although we haven’t needed to turn on the portable fans in our bedroom for a few weeks, now, we haven’t taken them back down to the cellar yet, either … just in case summer fights back with one last wave of warmth.
If I were in Texas right now, I would be burning spiced apple and pumpkin pie scented candles, baking seasonal confections, blasting the AC, and dressing our house in brown, red and gold to make it feel a little bit more like fall, despite the lingering 90 degree temperatures outdoors.
Here in Germany, the scents, flavors, feelings and sights of autumn are all around us … naturally.
Harvest season has arrived, and each village has its own special way of celebrating, it seems. As a matter of fact, ours is in the middle of throwing its annual Kerwe (fair) as I write this … right on our street!
Daddy returned home from another TDY on Friday, and we have been enjoying spending some much-needed quality time with him before he has to leave, again. He’s been away for all but three weeks since June, and we’ve been missing him terribly. Last night, we walked down to have dinner (spicy Currywurst, crispy Pommes and a hamburger) and let the boys enjoy a few rides while we had a glass (or two) of wine together.
We ended up bringing home a couple of crepes (Kinderschokolade, or Kinder chocolate, and Nutella with bananas) to share for dessert before bed, and we will probably do it all over again this evening.
Yesterday morning, we decided to skip the closer, more popular pumpkin festival in our area to pick apples with friends at a family orchard about an hour from where we live, and I’m so glad we did.
It was a first for the boys and me, and we all had a blast.
Today will be spent catching up on chores, working to level the mountains of laundry that have been growing in the corners of our bedrooms for weeks, pulling weeds in our poor, strangled garden, and turning our box full of apples into baked goods to share with neighbors, teachers and friends … all the while drinking fresh-squeezed Apfelsaft (apple juice) until our tummies hurt.
Speaking of our garden: right now, it reminds me of “The Secret Garden” (one of my all-time favorite books!) … before Mary and Dickon cleared out the weeds and brought it back to life.
It turns out, you can’t go away for weeks at a time if you expect to have anything left afterwards.
In the spring, we planted 10 pumpkin seeds. Of the 10, only one sprout broke through the soil. On the single, skinny vine, one tiny pumpkin grew. Now, it’s about the size of a grapefruit and still mostly green … but the boys are all excited about it, anyway, and it has definitely been a learning experience for us all. To me, that’s what matters most.
The locals understand the harvest season is a time of festivity, because it is all about reaping the fruits of our labor … and good, plentiful fruit doesn’t just grow all on its own; it takes hard work, healthy resources, time and ample amounts of patience.
In the end, we may not get what we hoped for, but the process inevitably gives us something to take with us the next time we try … and that is definitely something to celebrate.