As much as Autumn decorating is about warm colors, the season is about the warmth of family and friends - the warmth of getting settled in for the chilly winter ahead and the holiday celebrations that are sprinkled throughout the cold.
When I was younger, this was a hectic time - from back-to-school through Halloween and into Thanksgiving and right into the Christmas Season. By the time January rolled around, I would have exhausted myself, my budget, my patience and my sense of humor. No wonder January always seemed so bleak!
Now, older and wiser, I decorate with very little: a handful of colorful leaves, a few twigs, a basket of real fruit (good for decor and eating, both), some pine cones from the yard, some Holly sprigs from the hedge.
I don't have to pack away the things that normally fill my home (and I don't have to drag them back out again).
It seems that I have been creeping stealthily in this "minimalist" direction for several years without recognizing it as a conscious direction at all. Now that I have arrived, I am thrilled. It's like "...summertime and the livin' is easy." I love the way the low, morning sun illuminates the little cluster of Autumn leaves (above) and the fuzzy, warm blanket waiting on the couch. The aromas of Cinnamon and Cloves rising up from an afternoon cup of Hot Russian Tea (recipe below) reminds me of the times when Autumn arrived with the hectic whirlwind which was a family of eight children. I miss them. I miss them not. They are still with me in so many ways.
They are in every seasonal memory that wanders through my mind. And they are on the other end of almost every phone call that I get. They tell me of their preparations and their children's delight and expectations. They also tell me of their exhaustion and I giggle to myself. "Take it easy", I say, knowing full well that they won't. But I know, just as well, that the time will come when they, like me before them, will conclude that less really is more - just as warm and just as welcoming of the chilly winter ahead.