When I volunteered to do the Weekend! post for Jaybird I had no idea that tomorrow was the first day of Fall. It suddenly feels like, “Dude…you have got to land this one. This is important.”

Autumn is a big deal in the Dwyer household. We love everything about it and I am under strict orders to keep all weekends free in the month of October so that the wife can schedule as many activities as possible. We’re lucky that in the Bluegrass State we actually get weather that feels like the season. Soon the last of our summer heat will finally break and we’ll have those cool and crisp mornings that seem to put a spring in my step. I’ve already started opening the coat closet each morning to caress my fleece vests and softly say, “Soon my friends…very soon.”

When the daughters were younger, I was the dad that would take them to the local harvest festival with the you-pick pumpkins, pose them in the field for pictures and then purchase our pumpkins on the way home from Walmart for $5. But that wasn’t because I was cheap. I wanted to save our funds for apple cider, artisanal pumpkin butter and hot spiced donuts. Nothing has changed in that respect. Just a couple of miles from our house are two farms that host Autumn activities and I need those donuts in my life. Mid-October we’ll make a quick trip over the Blue Ridge Mountains to attend homecoming at Furman University for the wife’s 20th reunion. We’ll celebrate our anniversary on October 30, feed candy to the little monsters on Halloween and then turn the corner. Once November hits, I will be planning my Thanksgiving menu, dreaming of the first snowfall of the year and counting the days until duck season starts. But for now, Autumn rules my thoughts.

This weekend the wife boards a plane on Friday morning for a few days in Florida with her college roommates. With the oldest daughter living on her own now and our college freshman barely home, we’re practically empty-nesters. So what the heck am I going to do with myself for two days? I have lots of plans, 50% of which will not come to fruition, but I like to aim high. There are several summer movies available On Demand that I missed, so that will probably fill my evenings. I added green smoothies to my diet a couple of months ago and now I find myself in Costco nearly every weekend buying power greens, carrots and fruit in bulk. I have a laundry list of tasks to complete for hunting season and actual laundry to do. The yard needs to be mowed. I need to do some email cleanup. As David Allen says, “There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, but the way out is through.”  I’m not good at sitting around doing nothing, so this weekend will fly by, like they all do. Thank goodness I love my job because Mondays seem to arrive faster every year.

Other than wisecracks about pumpkin spice, I’d love to hear from all of you about what Autumn looks like in your neck of the woods. What’s the weather like? What are the activities you enjoy? Do you dance naked with your pagan friends under the harvest moon? Let’s hear about it!

Image from the Saturday Evening Post, October 27, 1956.

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Mike Dwyer is a writer in Louisville, KY. He writes about culture and the outdoors for Ordinary Times. He is also one of several Kentucky authors featured in the book This I Believe: Kentucky. Mike is active on Facebook and Instagram. He lives with his wife and daughters in the distant suburbs, at the place where neighborhoods give way to farms and forest.

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18 thoughts on “Weekend!

  1. Autumn is our favorite, too.

    Earlier in the week, I had my personal first moment of autumn when I heard the furnace kick on for the first time since last spring. Last night I had to get extra blankets from the other room to make up for Jaybird’s absence (despite all three cats being on the bed).

    One of the things I love about Colorado is that we basically have mostly-autumn from late September through February. The odd winter week, the odd summer day, but mostly autumn. It’s my favorite thing about the climate here.

    I’ll be spending this weekend running all Jaybird’s errands, doing both of our chores, and not doing a single social thing until late Sunday night (woo! Outlander date!). After all the trainees I’ve been training, and the social events related to the library opening I’ve been attending, a weekend alone operating on my own schedule sounds like heaven.


  2. The things I look forward to the most:

    Trading out the summer shirts for the hoodies
    Getting the green blanket out of summer storage and putting it back on the bed
    Swapping out the linen sheets for the flannel sheets
    Busting out the Crock Pot
    Being too cold and putting on another layer rather than being too hot and being unable to, either because I am in public or because I am in private and doing such would require a cheese grater


  3. Autumn and Spring are the only decent seasons in the Mid Atlantic. Winder is cold and dreary, and Summer is oppressively hot and humid.

    Fall is for Renaissance Festivals, a craft show, visiting wineries, and “cold weather booze”: martinis, scotch, and rich red wines. And since the weather is better and there are no mosquitoes-grilling.

    And going to the range.


    • North Atlantic is the same except cut out spring (endless fog and rain) and add hordes of blood sucking insects to summer. I know why the Vikings didn’t colonize North America: They landed in the North east, got one look at the winter, spring and summer and used the brief window of Autumn to flee back home in terror.


      • Hmmm, that’s what the continent-bound experience, but not all of us. PEI is only hot and humid for 2 weeks (normally end July/start August but they move around), and it only endlessly fog/rains from February to the start of April. (Proper, lovely spring from mid-April to early June.) And Newfoundland and Cape Breton are both darn near frigid all the time except in high summer.

        Agreed about the blood-sucking insects though!


        • Well yes, PEI is the vacation spot of the Maritimes. If the Vikings had found PEI instead of Newfoundland then the continent would be called North Ragnaria, we’d all be living in the United States of Ragnaria and eating Lutefisk on holidays!


        • Now I am homesick for PEI and want to go spend 2 October weeks there again like I did last year. Cottage on the coast, water still warm enough to wade in though swimming would not have been a good plan, wind in the pines and wonderful warm-for-fall crisp sunny days with wonderfully chilly nights. Couple of good storms too, only lasting a day or so each, which I loved, though Jaybird’s mom was NOT impressed with the way the cottage swayed (it was on posts).


          • I was actually in Nova Scotia for a week at the beginning of September. The weather was spectacular, I visited the Valley, Liverpool and my Island. It was pleasant but massively nostalgic. Everything on Ironbound is still there from when I was a child except the people, it’s just slowly crumbling away.

            And then I went to the Blueberry Festival in Maplewood-Parkdale and feasted on German food and all was okay.


  4. Autumn is my favorite, too, but looks like we’re not going to get it for a while – after a statistically cooler August, it’s back to July like temperatures here.

    I have no idea what I’m going to do this weekend. Too hot to enjoy cooking fall foods, too hot to enjoy going out and doing things. And I’m just burnt to a crisp from pushing too hard so I don’t know.


  5. Autumn hit us this week; rainy, drizzly. A nice change. Starting to think about the holidays, what to do in the new house (once we finally move in…)

    This weekend is going to be getting the new range hood taken care of, and if there is enough time running new phone/data lines.


  6. Without straying into Politics too much, the election will be filling much of my attention this weekend. I voted earlier int he week, but I will be watching the coverage tomorrow night, and my team at work will be having a morning tea to discuss the result son Monday, so I’ll be baking something for that too.


  7. The 30th approaches. Will JB be back and recuperated enough to get a tour of the fencing tournament at the Air Force Academy? Do we do it without him? Anyone else that should be invited?


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