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Wed, Dec 17, 2014

MRS. MURFREESBORO: Be sure to enjoy the wonders of fall

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MRS. MURFREESBORO: Be sure to enjoy the wonders of fall | Halloween, Autumn, Weather, Travel, Decorating, Gardening, Agriculture, Mrs Murfreesboro, Voices

Jeanne Bragg
Cooler weather, trees in brilliant colors, and darker mornings can only mean one thing: It’s fall.

I love living in a place where seasons change and Mother Nature gives us so much to celebrate. And hasn’t it been beautiful lately?

We’ve had enough rain to keep things from being as dry as they were in the summer. My husband, Tommy, has been somewhat successful getting some grass seed to grow to replace what he lost this summer during the drought.

We’ve had our first fire in the fireplace, and when I mentioned building one the other day Tommy said, “It’s 72 degrees outside.”

It might have been warm outside but inside, it was about 62 degrees and chilly. I’m sure Murfreesboro Electric Department will be wondering how to replace revenue lost from the many households, including our own, that have had the air conditioners turned off for about a month.

About three weeks ago, my granddaughter Jeanne said that she knew it wasn’t fall yet because she hadn’t seen any pumpkins. Time has changed that considerably.

In the grocery line on Monday, I noticed that most carts had some fall or Halloween decorations. Most were pumpkins. I wondered if we could measure the economy by the number of pumpkins purchased? If so, we’re on an upswing.

Tommy and I have been fortunate to have taken trips to New England often times in the fall, and one of my favorite things while there is observing is how many people decorate their houses for the season.

It seems that every single house has a fall wreath on their front door, chrysanthemums on the steps, ghosts hanging from trees, and  spiders crawling up walls. No matter how modest or grand the home, nearly every person gives it their all, making homes in the South pale by comparison.

Some towns along the coast even have contests to see who can create the most clever mannequins on light posts or decorations in store windows.

I think part of the reason I enjoy it so much is because they don’t seem to rush the Christmas season like I feel we do here.

We took such a trip this year and were disappointed by the lack of color in the trees. We had to go in September, and I’m sure a later trip would have been better.

Perhaps because there has not been a frost, the trees were still primarily green until we reached Vermont, which is about as north as you can go and still be in the U.S.

It also rained a lot of the time we were there, which limited our viewing. I imagine that many northern states are in their prime by now.

Driving northeast meant stopping in Maryland to visiting my sister and her husband, with a subsequent stop en route to visit our grandchildren in New York, of course.

When we called my sister Carroll to tell her we were close by, she said that her 100-year-old mother-in-law who lived in Alabama was not expected to live through the night.

She did not. So, we left the next morning when they did, each going in different directions.

Ironically, they were visiting us on their way back from their last visit with her in Alabama the day before Tommy lost his mother, too.

We have since made a plan not to schedule any more visits together for a while.

Despite the shortened trip, we did drive around Washington, D.C., in the rain and enjoyed views of the Washington Monument, which is still under repair from the August 2011 earthquake. We also went to the National Gallery, Jefferson Memorial, Capitol Hill and other impressive sights.

Although you can’t get close to the White House anymore, I read that it was recently open to the public for a tour of Jackie Kennedy’s rose garden and first lady Michelle Obama’s vegetable garden.

We couldn’t be there during the time those tours were offered, so I googled images of the vegetable garden.

It is a lot bigger than I imagined. I then searched for pictures of the capitol to remind me how beautiful it is. And it is still stunning. Try it yourself.

The last day of the Rutherford County Farmers Market at Lane Agri-Park is Tuesday, Oct. 30, and you should head over there to pick up summer’s last vegetables.

I recently bought heirloom tomatoes and butternut squash, neither of which disappointed. Just remember to put the squash in microwave for two minutes on high to make it easier to cut.

I hope you enjoy the rest of these fall days before daylight saving time ends and colder weather shows up. I plan to be staying outdoors as much as I can.

‘Til next week.
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