Friday, September 24, 2010

A Hint of Wood Smoke

I passed a farm field on my way to work this morning. Brown vines have surrendered to the ground, no longer camouflaging round, ripe pumpkins. I pulled my little red Hyndai off the road for a minute, just soaking up the scene.

If you live in a place where the change of seasons is dramatic, do you love this time of year? Do you relish the contrast of bright orange on weathered brown, of bronze and gold leaves against a background of stately pines? Do you smile as you wrap a bulky sweater closer to your body and savor the hint of wood smoke on crisp air? Or does the fading of summer leave you feeling sad, contemplative, nostalgic? Are you embracing every color-changing day, or simply bracing yourself for winter?

As for me, I'm counting the days to the Sister Bay Fall Fest in Door County. There's no place I'd rather be when the leaves start falling and fireplaces come to life again. Give me a mug of hot cherry-apple cider and a big, fat pumpkin-shaped sugar cookie with orange icing, and I'm a happy girl. Maybe this year the wonder of autumn in Door County will hold something special--an unexpected encounter?--to help me forget the last date I'll ever have.

I'm sharing a few pictures here of the Clearing, an artists' retreat in Door County. It's a place I've only heard about. . .but I have a feeling I'll be visiting soon.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this time of year. If you leave a comment about your favorite place to be in the fall, we'll put your name in for a chance to win a copy of A Door County Christmas. I'll ask Lola to pick the lucky name on Wednesday, October 6. Hope it's you!

Now slip into that comfy sweater and get out and smell the wood smoke! Thanks for stopping by,

Jilli (and Jolly!)


  1. I love being anywhere in the Midwest where the trees are changing color. My area of Northwest Indiana has breathtaking scenes, but so do Michigan and Illinois and Wisconsin and . . .

  2. I love another special place in Wisconsin. My home area of Lake Geneva, WI where the ancient maples turn brilliant shades of gold and orange. I have fond childhood memories of walking home from school through the leaves, jumping into piles of leaves and the smell of burning leaves on chilly fall days. I guess the burning is a memory forever gone now with fire bans. Nothing nostalgic about putting your leaves in a paper bag. LOL. We used to rake them to the gutter and light the fire.

  3. Awe Pamela I love Lake Geneva...but nothing is better then Door County...I love Peninsula State Park and sitting with a quilt wrapped around me watching a play at the amphitheater...anyday...

    I also love the lighthouses up there...cherry pies...Ice cream with a wopper on the bottom of the cone...ok I'm done now


  4. Oh! Oh! *raising my hand* Another Wisconsinite here, chiming in! I'm north of everyone, and there is no place I'd rather be than here in my own Douglas County or next door in Bayfield County. Colors will peak over the next week, just in time for the big Bayfield Apple Fest. Anywhere you drive, from Superior to Bayfield is overwhelmed with color. Crisp nights, warm fires, bright sun on all that brilliant foliage. Mmmm. So cozy and pretty.

  5. There's no place like northern Michigan in the fall. If you drive out to Chauteau Chantal on Old Mission peninsula you're surrounded by vineyards, orange, yellow, and red leaves, and the crystal blue east and west bays. It's perfect jeans and hoodie weather - add some toasty hazelnut coffee and it's fabulous. Love it!

  6. Loving all of your answers! Thank you! Have any of you ever been to New England in the fall? I can picture a cozy Vermont inn, but I've never been there. Maybe someday, if I ever have a man to travel with... Then again, could it really be prettier than Door County?


  7. I got the highest bid on your silent auction items at ACFW conference. James and I are enjoying all the things in the bag. The tea really helped my voice when I got home.

  8. Congratulations, Lena! And thank you for bidding for such a wonderful cause (scholarships to the ACFW conference). For those who weren't there--we filled a bag decorated with cherries with Cheery Cherry Tea, a Door County mug, and a few Door County goodies, including chocolate covered cherries. (And, of course, a copy of A Door County Christmas.) So glad the tea helped your voice, Lena--by the end of the conference it was nearly gone!

  9. The Cheery Cherry Christmas Tea has been a big hit. I have it on good authority from Amanda from "The Heart's Harbor" in A DOOR COUNTY CHRISTMAS that it was as popular at the Heart's Harbor Victorian Inn's annual Christmas Tea as it has been with readers who've tasted it. I'm looking out at a gray day, but the colors still sing. The acorns are super-sized this year. The pine needles laid a carpet of soft rust on my south lawn. My neighbor's landscape boasts pumpkin vignettes--hundreds of "conversation groupings" of two or three orange, tufted ottomans. My husband is tearing down our screen house on the deck today. Putting it away for the winter so he can powerwash and reseal the deck. I'm in mourning. The screen house is my sanctuary. Fall--how fickle the emotions you stir! I love your beauty and the apple-crisp air. But the wake of winter trailing behind you makes me shiver.

  10. Chiming in from South Texas. After months of high temperatures coupled with high humidity, I always enjoy the few days of cool weather that constitute autumn here. No changing leaves, but we appreciate the cool breeze so much. Being able to open the windows and air out the house. Fall is quick around here. We try extra hard to enjoy it.

  11. I live in Ohio, and I love traveling the backroads of Amish country, all the lovely farms set in woods and all the beautiful autumn colors.
    Fall is one of my favorite seasons, I enjoy the apple harvests, picking out a nice pumpkin, and raking leaves...isn't it wondrous, all of God's beauty in the seasons we so enjoy.



  12. I love to be in the woods hiking and enjoying the beauty of the changing leaves in Mn.