For more than a year now we’ve been following the sun, arriving at each new destination just in time to savour spring or slide straight into summer. We’ve been spoiled by long summer days and warm summer nights, spent most of our time outdoors and enjoyed turning the best of summer produce into light, easy meals. Easton likes to brag that he’s gone ‘a year without trousers’, which is possibly true. For sure we’ve had more than our fair share of barefoot days, swimwear, sundresses and life moving to summer’s sweet pace.
That was until two weeks ago when we left Los Angeles for Seattle and were thrust straight into autumn! In an instant we swapped the sunshine and summer temperatures of Southern California for the cold and wet of the Pacific Northwest. We were even warned of a big storm approaching, and it came — bringing cool temperatures, heavy rains and power-outages across the region.
We made our way to Bainbridge Island to hunker down in a little beach house that’s been in my family for generations. Since then we’ve made lots of soups, baked lots of cookies, sipped teas, lit candles, warmed our bodies by the fire and layered on all the wool clothing we could find. We’ve done a lot of homeschooling, read a lot of books, knitted, played games and spent the majority of our days inside together. We’ve even taught the kids how to play chess! It wasn’t part of our plan, but we’ve really enjoyed this new season, change of rhythm and doing autumnal activities for the first time in two years!
Inspired by the falling leaves and seasonal sights, the kids were asking non-stop about carving pumpkins and dressing up for Halloween. It’s their first time being in America this time of year and an ‘American Halloween’ sounds especially cool! So last week we seized a rare break in the rain and made a beeline to the Suyematsu Pumpkin Patch.
The kids grabbed wagons and went in search of the perfect pumpkin. They spent over 20-minutes sizing up the options and changing their minds, while Michael and I offered unwelcome and conflicting advice. I encouraged the kids to find the most perfectly round, perfectly clean, orange pumpkins, while Michael advocated for the oddest, most irregular ones! I love that we have such a different opinion of ‘perfect’ when it comes to pumpkins.
We came home that afternoon with a fun and quirky collection of soon-to-be jack o’lanterns. We couldn’t resist buying a warty pink variety and a blue one too, assured by the farmer that they were the best for cooking. The following weekend we made use of extended family to help clean and carve our eclectic crew. We’ve placed them in a dry spot on the deck, sheltered from the rain, and will be lighting them up every night as we await the kids’ first American Halloween.