A Collection Of Experiences and Observations

Fall Longings

What a glorious time of year! Here in the Texas Hill Country, it hardly qualifies as Fall compared to the ones our family knew and loved for twenty-seven years in Northern New Mexico.

Ahhh! How well I remember the sights, sounds, and feel of Fall in Los Alamos!

The tall, slender Aspen trees on the ski hill, golden leaves rustling in the wind, displaying their grandeur, invited those willing to take a break from daily routine.

Fall Aspens
Fall Aspens

The air at over 8000 feet altitude was brisk, even in September. Calmness flooded my soul as I sat on the deck of the lodge with a thermos of hot chocolate and a good book. The icing on the cake was watching the kids run up the grassy hill and roll down, pausing occasionally to examine one of God’s wonders that piqued their interest. Too soon this hill would be bustling with people, decked out with snow gear; some daring, ready to tackle the most difficult hill, while others, content to ski the bunny hill. But before the snow completely blanketed the slopes, I took advantage of soaking up all the quiet, peace, and beauty that Fall brings to this special place.

Already, this year in early October, there is snow on the mountain top and a dusting on the ground. The Aspens, peaking from between the Evergreens, put on quite a show.

Snow-capped mountains
Snow-capped mountains

The sweet aroma of roasting green chile (we call it the nectar of the gods!) at the Thursday farmer’s market wafted through the air as I strolled down each aisle, lingering at my favorite stands. I sampled green chili jelly, hot apple cider, mango salsa. Yum! Inevitably I encountered friends, so it was important to allow time for a chat. In a small town you can’t go anywhere that you don’t see a familiar face.

Oh, and I always had to buy a chile ristra for my doorpost.

chile ristra
Chile Ristras

Even in August, evenings might find us sharing home-made ice cream with friends around a fire pit. Wandering too far from the fire nearly always guaranteed the shivers.

And then, there’s the apples! What’s Fall without apples?! Eating apples, sweet and crisp, and baking apples with just enough tartness to make a good pie, were ready for picking by the end of September. Apple trees, preferring cool weather, grew well there. Since we had no apple trees in our yard, the elderly woman across the street generously allowed us to pick from her three trees. I canned, dried, froze, and juiced. Peels and pulp from juicing provided nourishment for worms in the outdoor compost pile.

A large box dehydrator made its home in the dining room during this season, providing both warmth and divine apple fragrance to rival Bath and Body Works Fall air fresheners. Our hand crank apple peeler/corer, much faster than a knife, allowed us to process through many more apples in a day. This handy device provided lots of family fun-a tradition that continues with our grandkids.

Mid-November finally feels like Fall in the Texas (where we now live) air, at least in the early mornings and late evenings, but not much evidence in the leaves or our 75-degree days. The Red Oak, one of the only local oak trees to shed its leaves, barely hints of yellow in its treetop.

As I sat around an evening fire pit this past weekend with friends…

And as I take in the sweet aroma of roasting chiles in front of HEB (our Texas grocery store) …

And as I smell apples baking…

And if I close my eyes real tight

My imagination transports me back in time to Northern New Mexico days, and once again, I experience the sights, sounds, and feel of “real” Fall.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.”

Stepping into a new season, be it seasons of weather or seasons of life, brings new changes. Not all are as glorious as those New Mexico Falls, but I am grateful for an unchanging God Who walks with me through them all.



  1. You write with such a visual emphasis. I could almost smell the apples. There aren’t any trees quite like the aspens of New Mexico. Wishing I was there too.
    Have a blessed thanksgiving. Thanks for this tribute to Fall.

    • Thanks, Karen, for commenting. Sounds like you will be enjoying my grandkids at Thanksgiving. 🙂 So glad you are down the street from the Sheppards now. They love your family so much!

    • Thanks so much, Tamika, for your encouragement. Still figuring it out, but I guess it will come a little at a time. Hugs!

  2. If I close my eyes real tight too – I see hear, and smell those same memories. What a blessing! So grateful to our unchanging God that purposed us to walk along side each other and share a journey together. So grateful that the next season of our sisterhood, though changed, we still walk along side each other. Remember my page from your going away book, before your journey to DC? The title asking “If a picture paints a thousand words – do a number of specific words paint a picture?” I believe it does and you have painted a sweet picture here with your words my dear friend.

    • Wow, it is taking me a while to figure all this blogging thing out. I appreciated your comment and am also in awe of the fact that God chose to keep our paths intertwined. It is exciting to have a friend from so many years close by. I think it’s about time for a get together!

  3. Love this Karen! I too, think of out short 8 years there and I am so thankful for that season! It brings a tear to my eye just thinking about the special friendships and memories! Thank you for sharing your heart so beautifully!


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