One last day of gorgeous weather before our extraordinary luck of a warm fall runs out.  It didn’t take much for us to drop everything and head to the hills.  The colorful rolling hills of the Ozarks.  This is one of the benefits of having a very fluid schedule.

 

We grabbed one more opportunity for a beautiful picnic, on the creek and surrounded by trees that were nearly bare.  Only a few lone leaves clung to otherwise empty branches.  The bright leaves at our feet decorated the setting.

Fall is my favorite season.  The rural spaces of West Chester were spectacular in the fall.  Our country drives became very special during that time.  I had the fleeting thought that if I were approaching the end of my life, I would want to bundle up and head out in the convertible to drive hours and hours around that stunning landscape. I can think of nothing better.

My Dad’s favorite season was Spring.  I never knew that.  He passed away in 2000 and my Mom told me that he was glad that he would die in Spring.  She said that he used to get invigorated every spring and start thinking about buying some land.  Itching to get closer to his farming roots, I suppose.   Of course he never did.  Just one of the things I wish I had known when he was living.

Note to self:  ask Mom what her favorite season is…

 

Sometimes we get in a routine and the months pass with a repetitive flow.  Or at least they seem to at the time.

Last year, we had an early snow that arrived on my birthday.  It made for a magical trip to the Inn in Lancaster that Tom had chosen for a celebration.  We dug out the winter boots, gloves and scarves and pictured ourselves snuggled in front of the fire in our room.  Rather, the fireplace (sans fire) in our room.  It was memorable none the less.

The warm fall day that we enjoyed this year was a striking contrast.  An impromptu trip to Burks County was every bit as enjoyable surrounded by the scenes of fall rather than winter.  The water on the Delaware canal sparkled with the warm hues of gold.  Long walks and sunglasses were called for.

Just as the November weather was not routine, neither were the 12 months in between.  Last year, we had just rolled out a new organization at QVC.  One that would significantly change the way we work.  The country entered into a serious financial crisis that impacted the business as well.  And we undertook some strategic projects to better position the business for the future.  A pretty amazing year.  We came out of it stronger than we went in, as we predicted we would — both from a business perspective, and a leadership perspective.  Not a scenario I would want to repeat every year, but definitely one for the books.  There is something to be said for working under pressure.

A lot can happen in 12 months.

Fall is possibly my favorite season.  The explosion of color in the hills.  The freshness to the air. Enjoying cozy sweaters without the bracing chill that comes with winter.  Stew.  A fire outside on the deck.  Grape harvest.

Fall is the season that I want to last longer, while I postpone the shortening of the days.  The darkness of the season.

Growing up, fall meant going back to school and college, which I loved.  It meant apples and pumpkins, and brussel sprouts.  It meant football games and bon fires.  It meant a better color palette.

As I’ve grown up, I have come to associate it with traveling.  September and October have become our favorite months for travel.  The crowds are fewer, but the days just as warm.  One such trip was the inspiration for our marriage in Venice.

As we drove through the West Chester country side this weekend, on a spectacular fall day.  I couldn’t help but think that I could describe all of the important colors in the hue of the foliage.  Red.  Orange.  Yellow.  Green.   Blue was covered with the brilliant sky.  White was represented by the stark birch trees that are more inspiring in the winter than the summer.   Sounds like a great photo project for my list.