Good-Bye September, Hello October

How did it get to be October already? And when did I realize I am oh-so-ready for fall? Maybe it was that final day last weekend, on my DD’s college campus, when the weather suddenly turned from sunny and in the 70’s to raw, rainy, and in the 50’s. Having brought nothing but sandals and short-sleeved tops on the trip with me, I was ill-prepared for the change. But if nothing else, I developed a new understanding for how the university sells all those unlovely navy and screaming orange sweatshirts (yes, those are the school colors) in the campus bookstore. I, too, added one to my wardrobe that day, and wore it gratefully as the temperature continued to drop. 

Even returning home to the Bay area, I was struck by the decidedly autumnal shift in the air. Mornings are dark now when I awake, and dusk comes much earlier. The official first day of fall has come and gone. Seeing my daughter so happily ensconced on her college campus reminded me of Rod Stewart’s bittersweet song, Maggie May. It was late September, and I really did feel as if I should be back at school.

Maybe it was picking the last of the figs from our tree, and realizing that fig jam and desserts are over for the season – although I did take some of these and combine them with Braeburn apples and dried Montmorency cherries to make a delicious fall crisp for dessert last night.

Garden Produce Sept 2009_033

 Maybe it was that enormous pot of Tuscan kale and bean soup I recently made, stirring it with images of cozy winter dinners in mind.

 Garden Produce Sept 2009_018

Back at home after last week’s travels, I picked the last of the tomatoes and started harvesting the first fragile lettuce leaves from the fall planting a few weeks back. Radishes and beets are still weeks away, but the baby greens are a tender addition to salads. The large tomatoes are ripening on sheets of newspaper, and a few last pounds of the cherry tomatoes ended up on a puff pastry and parmesan tart for dinner the other night.


There’s nothing I’d love to do more right now that knit, and it has been incredibly frustrating not to be able to. I sit and watch TV in the evenings, and it feels strange (not in a good way, either) to have no knitting in hand. I suppose I could hold my last WIP in my lap and fondle it while the programs unfold before me, but it just wouldn’t be the same. I’ve been dreaming for weeks about new sweater designs I want to make, and once my bandage came off I even sketched them into my design notebook. But recuperation from my hand surgery continues slowly (and working on the computer does nothing to aid my convalescence, I admit), with my hand still swollen and somewhat weak. I can’t make a fist because the scar tissue is still tender. However, between that  “Oh, it’s September – time to learn something new” mindset and my growing acceptance of the limitations I may continue to have post-hand surgery, I’ve made what feels like a very big decision. 

I’m going to invest in a knitting machine and in the lessons to learn to use it properly. Although it will never take the place of hand-knitting, it will give me a fighting chance of creating all the new designs I’ve had in mind. And it just may save me from further surgeries. And that, I’ve gotta say, would be really nice.

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