The trees leading into our neighborhood are starting to change color. It’s getting cooler at night. The school buses are lumbering past the house, and the crossing guards are out at the corner. We live a block and a half from an elementary school that can be seen from the front door, and sounds of children fill the air again after the eerie silence of summer. And if all of this wasn’t evidence enough, a few days ago the infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte made its seasonal debut. Fall is here, and it envelops me like a hug from a long-lost friend.

Fall is without a doubt, my favorite season. Contrary to some, I loved school. Summer was great, but for a people person like me, school and all of the friends, was where it was at. In my hometown of Walla Walla, September meant Labor Day weekend and the Southeastern Washington State Fair, with the parade, carnival and rodeo. It was also the time to reconnect with friends you hadn’t seen since school was out in May. The fair was the best!

Fall is also a time of festivity in our family. My mother’s birthday (87 this year!) is in September, as was my father’s when he was alive. My in-laws celebrated 64 anniversaries together each September from 1946-2011, my aunt’s 80th birthday is this month, a daughter-in-law turns 40, and good friends celebrate their anniversary.

Finally, fall is when my house actually makes sense. You can almost hear it breathe a sigh of relief, as it coordinates with the colors of fall. I can try to make my house fit summer by lightening everything up, make it glisten with Christmas sparkle, and bring in the pastels of spring. But this is all just a great big cover-up for the normal autumnal colors in our home. Fall is this home’s happy season, for sure, and I couldn’t be happier.

Due to an abnormal amount of travel recently, as well as a large decorating project, this year I am keeping things simple. Outside, there is a new wreath for the front door, made by upcycling my spring basket arrangement and using leaves, pinecones, and other fall colors. The chairs are still sporting their orange cushions, that now look right at home. As an aside, after 3 years, I honestly know I will get tired of these Pier 1 cushions long before they will ever wear out. Eventually, there will be mums in the pot by the front door, but not in time for this post.

In the entryway, I have left the tile floors bare for spring and summer. With my propensity for going barefoot indoors, a throwback from our years in Hawaii, the coolness of the tile feels nice underfoot. But come fall, the entry needs some warming up, so we unrolled and brought back a fall toned area rug we’ve had for 17 years. Changing out some white candles to orange, adding a leaf plate full of pinecones, putting some artificial leaves in a vase on the floor, a new fall pillow, and this area is done.

In the living room, I changed out most of the off-white pillows, that have been out for several months, and retrieved the burnt orange styles from their closet hiding place. A few throws in warmer colors finished the look.

Fall decorating doesn’t have to be time consuming or expensive. Sometimes you need only look inside your closets for seasonal décor, and outside your front door to find pinecones and greenery, to evoke the mood of autumn.

After a summer of blistering heat and oppressive smoke blowing in from California, Oregon and British Columbia, the air is now fresh and clear. Rejoice! It’s time to pick up your favorite pumpkin spice beverage, gather some leaves and say “Hello fall. Welcome back old friend!”

Good tidings,

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