As soon as I turn on my iPhone in the morning, I glance at the screen and right away notice the date on the calendar app. It stands out for some reason and especially today. The number "1" practically lept off the screen. August first. It's unbelievable really that today is the first of August. Just yesterday it was July and summer and the whole summer was ahead of us. Now it's like the count down to winter has begun. It's a bit depressing actually since this particular Swedish summer has not been as awesome as I had expected and hoped. Last year we would cook our dinner and take it out to a park for a picnic and swim, sometimes late into the evenings without even needing a jacket. This year however, my pretty, new, Marimekko vaxduk (oiled tablecloth) has sat alone on our balcony, gathering rain drops and dust.
Maybe that is unconsciously why I felt so grumpy last night. If this was Texas we'd still have at least two months left of hot to sweltering weather and then another month or so of warm weather before fall weather. But it's Sweden and the first of August signals the start of fall. Me personally? I'm planning on having Indian summer through August. But just to start off the month thinking positively I've deciding to pick five things I love about fall in Sweden, just in case fall sneaks in unexpectedly early, I want to be prepared.
1. Chanterelle mushrooms
2. Pumpkin made into pretty much anything
3. The changing colors of leaves
4. Celebrating my wedding anniversary
5. Wearing boots
Last year we never made it out to the woods to pick mushrooms but it is definitely on our list this year. We have high hopes of picking so many that our freezer will be filled with them to eat throughout the year. Ha. We'll be lucky if they last through Christmas.
Pumpkin... mmmm need I say more? Pumpkin pancakes or waffles, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins with chocolate chips, orange marmalade pumpkin pie and maybe even pumpkin smoothies. I love pumpkin and I realize I can eat it year round but it feels special to eat it in the fall.
Another favorite fall activity is taking bike rides or walks through the beautiful parks in the city to see the changing of the leaves. A few handfuls of leaves usually make their way back home with us to become enshrined artistically on the dining table with candles. Some even get pressed into books or made into cards and later mailed to friends and family.
This year we will be in Texas at the time of our anniversary. If everything works out, we plan to celebrate by visiting the botanical garden where we had our ceremony and then maybe even a toast afterward at the winery where our reception was held.
It's funny, just a few weeks ago I packed away a couple of pairs of boots that had been sitting by the front door since their last wearing in the spring. In a short time I will be taking them back out again but that is okay. I really love wearing boots and I hope to get a new pair this year. I pretty much wear boots exclusively during the fall, winter and spring so I think that warrants a new pair each year. And there are so many gorgeous boots to choose from in Sweden. A new pair of boots is something that almost makes the close of summer worth it.
And there you have it in a nutshell. Fall happiness from chanterelle mushrooms to boots. Of course I still plan to go on a few more picnics and swim before summer is officially declared over. After all I still get off work early on Fridays throughout the month of August. In the U.S. we had Labor Day to tell us that summer was technically over. Here, I have the end of my early Fridays, which consequentially will be on Friday, August 31st.