Friday, September 02, 2011

Celebrate Color: What Fall Means to Me...

Oh boy...What fall means up in Alaska is a lot different than fall in the lower 48. I have always known this, but after reading some of the other amazing blog posts, it became a vivid reality. I need to step it up! What does fall mean to me in my great state of AK?

September is when our fireweed bursts into flames, then slowly smolders into white puffs of cotton.

 Cottonwood leaves turn yellow overnight. A brisk autumn breeze brings them swirling to ground, coating it a crunchy brown. The sunlight gives everything a golden hue that looks much warmer than it feels.

Termination dust starts to creep down the mountains, getting dangerously close to the ground until an unseasonably warm day chases it back up.

October brings with it the first snowfall of the season. We usually plan our Halloween costumes around whether or not it will fit over a snowsuit. Some years we are trick-or-treating through a foot of snow, while other years bring us a wind that is blowing so hard we can barely open the doors to all the decorated homes and the town swirls with escaped candy wrappers. And some years are just plain bone chilling cold. I'm not selling anyone on my home, am I? It truly is a magical time of year, with a little bit of temperamental weather.
Trick-or treating with my mom in Alaska
November is winter in Alaska. It is cups of cocoa and tea, curled up on the couch with a quilt, listening to wind blow. It is family and Thanksgiving and my wedding anniversary. My parents were married in November, and I followed in that tradition. We were married 11 years ago, and our rehearsal dinner was a Thanksgiving feast.
A crisp November wedding
As children, my brother and I would help put the Christmas tree up the day after Thanksgiving. My own children now help me. We poor some eggnog, put on the Christmas music, and gently unwrap each ornament as if it were a gift. I tell them the story that comes with every ornament, some home made, some from my mother's collection, and some from my husband's past. I teach the children about their grandparents, so they will not forget. I carry on my mother's traditions because she is a part of the season.

How does all this translate into my own fall color pallete? Deep fireweed red, fallen leaf browns and tans,  Halloween lime greens and oranges, crisp snow and wedding gown white as a brilliant contrast are my fall colors.


Cherry Red Quilter said...

It sounds cold but it also sounds wonderful! My husband and I are planning to take a trip to Alaska for the first trip we take once we can leave without the kids. On days when they are being particularly difficult we just say think of Alaska!

Carolyn said...

I love Fall, my favorite time of year. I enjoyed the pictures. When the sun is different in the sky and the crisp air. I dont know if I could live with all of that snow though. When it gets cool here the tradition is to go to the North Ga. Mountains and buy boiled peanuts and visit all if the shops and buy a pumpkin. You and your family have a good Labor Day.

Karen Frye said...

Jen I love this post, and the pictures from the past, thanks for sharing.

MulticoloredPieces said...

A thoughtful post with lovely photos. I love autumn, too, as so many plants flower for a second time as temperatures go down (well, they haven't gone down yet!). I like your owl, too--lot of personality there!
best, nadia

My Sweet Prairie said...

I didn't knwo there was a Corbin Creek. (My oldest boy is Corbin). Nice to meet someone more north than me! ; )
stitching in Saskatoon

Maureen Cracknell Handmade said...

Your Fall inspirations are all lovely! I'm joining in Celebrate Color, too!!! It's going to be fun!

Rachel Hauser said...

What a great post! Thank-you for telling us about your Alaskan fall. I really enjoyed seeing the photos of some of your plants. I can't imagine trick or treating in snow!!!