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Pull Up A Chair…


It’s cooling down a bit outside at our house.  I turned our heater on for the first time in months day before yesterday, and you can feel that increased bit of urgency in the squirrels that raid my bird feeders trying to fatten themselves up as quickly as they can before the snow flies.  Today the rain is lashing at the window outside the house, and there’s just the hint of a chill lingering in the air, even with the heater running. 

Winter is coming.  But not before the tall oak trees across the street bursts into its glorious crown of golden leaves and the maple and dogwood trees around the neighborhood burn bright with their orange and crimson foliage.  The purple asters planted along our front steps are full of blooms this year, and spend the day covered in butterflies and fat, buzzing bumblebees from dawn to dusk. 

This is my favorite time of year.

It is time to start changing around the clothes in my drawers, putting more sweatshirts at the ready and fewer t-shirts.   I’m sure we still have some warm days ahead of us, but it is almost time to pull out the flannel sheets.  (If you haven’t experienced the nirvana that is flannel sheets on a cold night, you really ought to treat yourself to a set for this winter.  You’ll thank me later.)  That first morning when it is icy cold outside, and you are snuggled all toasty warm under your flannel sheets…bliss. 

But before we get to that point in the year, we get treated to this magical color display.  If you haven’t experienced the Fall leaves in Appalachia, you should think about making that a vacation some year — from the Carolinas up through West Virginia and into some of Western Pennsylvania, it will be one big swath of color over the next few weeks.  Well worth a little drive to see it most years.  Or, if you are lucky enough to be me, you look out your front windows and see a little copse of trees…and enjoy your coffee while you type.

Fall always makes me want to curl up in a chair with a mug of tea, a warm blanket and a really good book, although that is more of a rarity for me these days with The Peanut and her endless need for stories and playtime — and, frankly, kids grow up way too quickly, and it’s too good an excuse to play with the Fisher-Price zoo to not take her up on it, let alone the endless adventures of the original Winnie the Pooh stories. 

Most of all, this time of year, I start craving that wonderful bowl of comfort that you get from a good soup or stew.  Since we’ll all be hitting the pavement doing get out the vote work, or neighborhood canvassing, or whatever (MYDD has a great article on how you can "adopt a voter"), for the upcoming election, I thought a recipe swap for soups, stews, chowders (or CHOWdah, depending on your geography), and such would be a nice start to the weekend for everyone. 

It’s cider and apple season here, so if you have a great apple recipe or something you love to do with cider, feel free to toss that into the mix as well.  Or, you know, pumpkin muffins — there’s a certain poodle who is always looking for the next great recipe.

Let’s just sit back and enjoy each others’ company this morning, and swap some comfort.  Pull up a chair… 

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com