Tuesday, November 11, 2008

'tis the season, right?

[what's brewing: pumpkin spice latte]

No matter the warm weather, blue skies and blossoming trees around me, everything inside of me firmly believes that it is fall. I doubt I will ever naturally think of spring when I turn my calendar over to the month of November. Knowing the time would come when my seasonal expectations and seasonal reality would conflict, I packed a scented candle into my bag last summer despite the precious weight it consumed in my allotted 50 pounds per bag.

I pulled the candle out last week, enjoying the familiar aroma that fills my house as it burns.

The bag of candy corn we’ve been snacking on has helped to create a pseudo sense of autumn as well. But the lingering disparity between my internal sense of fall and the seasonal elements around me has me thinking about things I can do to help create a sense of familiarity and enjoyment of this time of year in such a different setting.

I used to satisfy my fall cravings with slices of pumpkin loaf, hot cups of apple cider, brisk walks in the cool air, crunching the dry leaves that pile up on the sidewalk and turning my sights toward holiday preparations. Now, I must expand my considerations and create a new sense of the fall (and eventually Christmas!) season within my home.

This leads me to my next Coffeegirl Challenge #2!

This week, I’m asking you to submit photos of what you’re doing to create a sense of familiarity during the holiday season, whether you’re south of the equator or living through the fall season far from home and familiar customs. Be sure to include yourself in the photo and send along a brief (100 word max) description or comment to post with your picture. Next week the photos will be displayed here and we’ll ask you to vote for your favorite one.

The winner will receive a special holiday package of pumpkin filling, pecans and chocolate chips for your holiday baking!

Photos should be emailed to editor@womenoftheharvest.com by Monday, November 17, 2008 at 9:00am Mountain Standard Time (2 hours behind East Coast time).


~ asianside ~ said...

Hi, there! I do like this blog. I love the way you are connecting women around the world with each other.

I also like your down-to-earth polls. Do you post the final poll results somewhere? When I fill out a new poll vote I wonder what the previous week's results were.

Just this short comment today. :D

Anonymous said...

What a great idea! It was fun to get my submission put together. I am excited to see what the other gals come up with.

So if you are Coffeegirl does that make us your Coffeegals? :-)


The Stover Family said...

I am thankful that here in Poland we have fall. I love the cool weather and all the beautiful colors. My favorite part of fall is getting the opportunity to wear sweaters. Fall however is not a normal season for me. I grew up in Thailand. There was no such thing as Fall in Thailand. We only had the hot season and the rainy season. I spent 16 years of my life without fall leaves,and pumpkins during the months of October and November, and no snow or cold weather in December, January and February. Our family actually spent many Christmases at the Beach. It was tons of fun. I will try to come up with something for the contest, I am interested to see the other entries.

Karis said...

I miss the fall so much! The thought of sipping pumpkin spice latte in cool weather brought...ahhh....(I don't enjoy coffee here in Africa because it heats me up to much!). The beauty of the leaves changing colors... The crisp, cool air...

Ironically, someone told me the other day that this rainy season which is a little cold is almost over. I'm in trouble... I've thought the weather has been hot ever since we got here three months ago. :-) The dry, hot season will be here just in time for Thanksgiving and then Christmas.

Please add me to the Blog Roll when you have time.

Becky Aguirre said...

Uh-oh! I'm in trouble! I love fall, it's my favorite season...the cooler weather, the beautiful colors, crunching through the leaves in the woods, pumpkins and harvest time, Thanksgiving, etc...we didn't, of course, actually have fall in Colombia growing up, but the teachers at school always decorated for the seasons back home. I always loved being back home for fall...

The problem is that I'm not a big decorator of seasons! I guess I will have to get into gear and figure something out! Which would be fun to do with the kids anyway and maybe we could start some family traditions. :)

Phil and Pattie said...

I can totally relate. I remember crying on our way to our first Thanksgiving meal here in Mexico with the other missionaries. It just did not "feel" like Thanksgiving. No crisp fall weather, crunching leaves, wearing a snuggly sweathshirt while sipping hot cider at a hay rack ride, etc. and most of all the people...family and our close friends sharing a special meal together and recounting all the Lord had done in our lives the past year. Instead, it was blue skies, blue ocean, desert lanscape, etc. I was also crying at the realization that Christmas would also not "feel" like Christmas either. In all my excitement to FINALLY get here after our long road of school, raising support, etc. I did not really stop to consider how affected I would be by the differences during the holiday season. Now that my kids are older, I also sometimes struggle with wanting them to have some of those same, fun memories but knowing that just is not reality and choosing to make different ones with them instead.

I still miss the leaves changing but can't say I miss having to drive in snow so I have been seeking ways to focus on the positives of being where it is much warmer this time of year than back "home" (which is feeling less and less like home). I was also able to buy some fake leaves and gourds, etc. last time we were in the states during the fall and that actually does help some to feel a little more like fall. If I have time, I will try to put something together for the contest...this time of year is just SUPER busy.

I would gladly welcome any ideas on how to keep things more simple so that the holidays can be more relaxing for everyone...is that even possible as missionary wives to do with all the Christmas programs..kids, youth, adults, women, etc. not to mention preparations in the home? Just curious what others thoughts are on that...hope you don't mind coffeegirl!:)
(sorry this got so long...you just really got me thinking) pattie

Shan in Japan said...

Thanks for the challenge, this week and last.
It has been fun to get to know women around the world who are serving our risen Savior and read how God is using them. It is also good to read the honest posts letting me know I am not the only one who struggles with things like being a perfectionist, comparing myself to others, wondering if I am really doing what I am supposed to, etc. Thanks for encouraging us to look around!
Coffeegal Shan in Japan :)

Anonymous said...

Hi! I don't have an entry but I have been following your blog the last few weeks. I guess you could say I have been a lurker. Anyway, I have been very encouraged by your blog and the other blogs listed on it. I have made it past the six month mark on the field and as a newbie this has become a highlight for me during the week. Sometimes I don't know what I am supposed to feel. This helps.


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