It’s officially fall now, and the vibrant colors and smells are being celebrated everywhere. There is something really nostalgic about this time of year. Growing up in New England, fall isn’t just a season, it’s an anticipated moment, a memory waiting to happen. I remember growing up with warm apple cider and spiced pumpkin lattes, rides on horse driven carriages heading towards a open fire camp site in the park or the beach and Thanksgiving meals celebrated with family and friends.
Those memories are incredibly valuable in creating a sense of self and belonging when you are constantly moving around, as we have. Lucky for me and my family, we now live in Issaquah, WA, where fall is just as glorious as it is in the east coast.
Having moved around so much, I value consistency in traditions. Whether we lived in Texas or California, we made the most of our celebrations of fall. There is a quote by Stanley Horowitz, “Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting, and autumn a mosaic of them all,” which sums up how beautiful and bountiful this time of year really is. Here are some great things we have done as a family to create a sense of home for the kids and to celebrate the mosaic of autumn:
Baking for Neighbors:
We welcome fall by baking for neighbors. Every year our family picks two kid- friendly recipes and bake them with neighbors and the kids. This year we made pumpkin cupcakes and cakes. The kids invited neighborhood kids to come over and had them bake. Our home felt warm and infused with flavors and smells of pumpkin and cinnamon and of course smiles and laughter.
Although children of immigrants growing up in the states, we too value Thanksgiving as an opportunity to get our families together and eat some incredible foods. This year, as with the past few, we can’t go to the east coast, so have decided to celebrate with friends and neighbors. We have opened our home to other transplants, and as Issaquah is a global community with many new families from all over the world, it’s always wonderful to have them incorporate their own traditions and add to ours.
Alvera’s daughter (pictured center) walks up Park Drive with her neighborhood friends.
Alvera’s daughter “helping” with pumpkin chocolate chip bread pudding.