Falling for You

In keeping with the relatively weird weather we’ve been having in 2019, the autumn colors are very late this year. People who drove up to see the colors in the mountains last weekend only saw a very few trees just beginning to turn yellow. It seems like most of the time, the aspens are full-out bursting with gold in the mountains.

Despite my recent pumpkin spice rant, I have to admit that the sights and smells of autumn make me very happy. This was the sight that caught my eye yesterday at my neighborhood Whole Foods. Who knew that there were so many kinds of pumpkins and squashes?…..

They were so beautiful that I was compelled to buy a perfectly shaped acorn squash, cut it in half, clean it out, fill it with butter and brown sugar, and bake it. Bill isn’t the biggest fan of vegetables in general, but he does really like acorn squash prepared this way. “My mom made it like that,” is his excuse. Oh, and BROWN SUGAR on a vegetable.

The smell of roasting chilies is also in the air, reminding me of the fall season. Every year, I want to buy roasted hot chilies. And every year I have to remind myself that I never, ever make green chili. Why? Because my sister Jen does the deed for me. She makes some of the best green chili, using ground beef instead of pork. She learned it from her Sanchez mother-in-law, though I think she has tweaked it over the years to make it her own.

A week or so ago, I got a text message from her in which she told me she just finished the worst job she has to do each year — cleaning her hot chilies. It’s back-breaking, eye watering, nose burning work, but well worth the effort. Especially since it’s her and not me.

Every year, Bill and Jen and I try to make it to Estes Park for one of my favorite activities: listening to the elk bugle. It occurred to me that we aren’t going to be able to do it this year, which makes me kind of sad. It’s a pretty time of year, and the performance given by the male elks so as to collect their herd is one of God’s loveliest gifts, at least to me. The bull elks will have to call for their mates this year without me looking on.

I have pulled out all of my flowers, though my tomato plant continues to produce fruit. I’m going to have to give up at some point and pull them out of the ground. I have no more ideas for using my many, many tomatoes…..

In a few weeks, we will make our way to AZ, where we will spend a few weeks getting our house ready for our winter visit. The weather — while not hot enough to fry tortillas on the sidewalk, will be a step back into memories of summer. So I’m enjoying our Indian summer while I have it.

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