Ah, fall. I had that cider and a doughnut, by the way, courtesy of the little country fair we went to last weekend.
When I was a kid, my memories of this time of year are mostly the beginning of school, and the shortening of available daylight. Had to come in earlier at night, and it was starting to cool down then, anyway, so coming inside wasn't such a bad thing. Reading books in the living room by lamplight, rather than up in a tree, by dappled sunlight.
When I reached the age of paying attention to things such as time and dates, other than birthdays and Christmas, I realized that September is the beginning of that oft-dreaded time, Holiday Season™.
So I thought I'd write a little about the season, as it is celebrated in our house.
Starting the second weekend of October, we have what WE call "Christmas,"
The Library Book Sale here is an Event. One that brings visitors from far and wide. People camp out the night before, even in the rain. I've even camped out. It is Christmas and Birthday, Great Pumpkin and Easter Beagle all rolled up into one. As it says on their website, the "number of items for sale usually exceeds 250,000."
And that's for each sale, now that it happens twice a year.
Plus, the prices start out quite reasonable, and get progressively cheaper every day of the sale, so on the last day, everything is a dime, and there's usually a lot of interesting stuff left. Most of my classic literature collection was purchased at ten cents per book.
The sale runs right into our next family celebration. We celebrate Thanksgiving on Canadian Thanksgiving, for a variety of reasons, not the least being it's when we're all here to celebrate it. A brilliant suggestion from a friend the first year we were faced with spending the american version not together as a family. Not nearly as stressful as trying to get everything together the same time as zillions of other people, for one thing. And closer to when things actually are harvested here. Not to mention, it avoids the whole pilgrim bullshit story.
After that comes the season that most people don't consider, and those who "celebrate it," rarely wish to do so again.
I'm talking about Chimney Fire Season.
In conjunction with Turning the Heat Back On Season.
And also, Kerosene Heater Accident Season.
Celebrated by a bunch of firefighters running around like mad, trying to keep up with it all.
This was all a long-winded introduction to a Public Service Announcement.
Get your chimneys cleaned.
Have your furnace cleaned.
Don't postpone it.
Don't decide not to bother.
Change the batteries in your smoke detectors. Add a few more smoke detectors. The more, the merrier.
Get some good-sized fire extinguishers, learn how to use them, and mount them on your wall in an accessible location. I'm a big believer in bright red home decor.
Don't leave space heaters unattended, especially any kerosene heaters.
Make sure you have Carbon Monoxide alarms if you have any kind of source of combustion in your house. Fuel oil, kerosene, natural gas, propane, whether it's for heat or hot water, your dryer or your stove.
Let's get through this cooling down time of year, without any rapidly heating up occasions.
Then we can go on to discuss the rest of the holidays.
I'll even tell you about my family's four Major Holidays of the year:
November 1st, December 26th, Feb 15th, and the day after Easter.
Cheap Chocolate Days.