Red, Green and Gold

In recent years, it seems the closest I’ve come to a palette of fall colors in Northern California is my collection of Le Creuset cookware. Not this year though.

I’m writing from Tennessee where I’m enjoying seeing pumpkins on porches next to white Adirondack chairs and the blaze of autumn colors everywhere.

Schools in this area schedule a fall break around the second week of October so I’ve been spending time with the grandkids and going to their baseball and soccer games. Another one tonight!

Last week, two of the boys, ages four and eight, dressed in their Halloween costumes for “Boo at the Zoo.” In the parking lot, we saw a little girl emerge from car dressed in a brightly colored tutu. When she turned around, brilliant butterfly wings unfurled from her back. “Look Nana! It’s a pixie!” my four-year-old grandson said. A word I would never have expected him to know.

The signs of fall are everywhere: festivals, craft fairs, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, hayrides and the usual neighborhood decorations leading up to Halloween. Particularly beautiful are the tall white steeples of local churches set against the background of colorful trees. The countryside, the Southern hospitality, mannerisms, and old-school values are reminiscent of The Andy Griffith Show.

Leaves fall and twirl in the breeze outside. Squirrels scramble for acorns littering the ground. I’ll put on a pot of soup and while it simmers, the four-year-old and I will rub a crayon over paper to reveal the image of the dry leaf underneath.

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