Autumn Pleasures

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

I must admit, I’m not a huge fan of fall. The days get shorter and c older and I’m not a fan of cold weather (especially snow and ice) but we don’t get too much of that until January, thank goodness.

I know many people look forward to autumn for pumpkin spice anything. The only pumpkin spice I enjoy is pumpkin bread. I’ve tried literally scores of different varieties of this quick bread, but I’ve never tasted one as good as the recipe I’ve been making since I was 12. To this day, I have never shared it. It makes a crispy crust (which some people don’t enjoy—and I feel sorry for them because it’s even better when toasted) and a moist inside. Back in the day, our local power company used to send out little “cookbooklets.” That’s where I got the recipe. When I became a thrifter, I started collecting them (mostly at estate sales because the people who were lucky enough to get them from RG&E knew they were tried-and true (well-tested) recipes.

But maybe my favorite thing about fall is reacquainting myself with the various afghans that live on the back of my chairs and couches. They aren’t for looks. If I sit down for any length of time, I usually get cold (even in summer because of the air conditioning), so they become my lap robes. I have four granny square afghans in my open-concept living-family room alone. I have several of them at our summer cottage, and you’d be surprised how many chilly days there are when you’re “on the water.”

I have a number of BIG HEAVY afghans my mother crocheted (big enough for a single bed) but Mum did not choose colors that attract me. However, when I was a teen and my grandmother was dying, my mother made her a short lap robe.  After she died, my grandfather gave it back to my Mum. I think she was a little hurt about that, but maybe that was just my impression.

Several years later, I started working at Kodak. When summer came around (I started in January), they really cranked up the air conditioning and I found myself wearing winter clothes to work—and still froze. That’s when Mum hauled out the yellow-green-and-white (and incredibly soft) afghan she’d made for grandma. I too it to work and have been using it ever since. It has traveled with me on winter trips, even to Florida where we did the snowbird thing for a season back in 2017, and lives in our downstairs pub. I’ve had that afghan for more than 30 years and it’s still soft and warm and every time I use it, I think of Mum.

When we got our girls back in February, little Poppy got used to sitting on the afghan on my lap. If I don’t use one, she takes a while to consider whether she want so sit on my lap. But since the cooler weather hit, I’ve been using my afghans and she’s been glued to my lap.

Yup, the return to using my afghans is my favorite part of this time of year.

What’s yours?

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Happy Book Day to me!  Today, TEA'D OFF, the 6th installment in the Life On Victoria Square series is out.

With the grand relaunch of Victoria Square’s tea shop, Tealicious, just days away, Nona Fiske decides it’s time to sabotage it and its owner, Katie Bonner. With gossip, innuendo, and outright lies, Nona tries to turn the other merchants on the Square against Katie. But Katie has learned how to deal with people like Nona. Can she kill with kindness?

This story takes place between the Victoria Square mystery novels Yule Be Dead and (the upcoming) Murder Ink.

Get your copy today!

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Crochet LifeOnVictoriaSquare Autumn LornaBarrett