- Written by Christina Katz; Photo: PhotoXpress.com
Sometimes it seems like summer will never end. But finally that first cool, crisp autumn chill comes along and rekindles fond memories of the cozy, colorful days and nights to come.
If you are not ready quite for autumn yet, this alphabetical cornucopia of fall activities will rekindle your enthusiasm, even if the dog days persist.
So, bring it on, autumn! Give us the shortening days, the diminishing light and, even, one day soon - although we are not quite ready yet - snow!
Bake some apple crisp together and fill your home with the scent of butter, nutmeg and cinnamon.
Cook up a back-to-school family feast where you honor what each member of the family has ever learned in school.
Let a Mary Poppins DVD bring to magical life the story of Bert, a chimney sweep, and Mary Poppins, a nanny with an enviable umbrella, the way only this perennial classic can.
Map out all the leisurely leaf-peeping drives you plan to take this fall. Include some adventurous, new-to-you routes.
Celebrate the equinox by gathering acorns in bowls and talking about the potential to become the mighty oaks that dwells inside each of us.
Rekindle your team spirit! Put on your snazziest flannel shirt and catch an afternoon football game. Or toss your own ball around in an impromptu pick-up game.
Visit a historic graveyard and make crayon rubbings of tombstones on large sheets of packing paper. Oversized crayons, unwrapped and rubbed sideways, work best.
Schedule your family a hayride under the golden harvest moon. Contact local farms for availability.
Take 20 minutes to pore over the infinite color varieties of Indian corn before you select the perfect cluster to hang on your door.
Pull out all of the cold weather clothes and never, ever throw away any of the well-worn jeans.
Kick back by flying a kite when the winds start to whip wicked.
Light the furnace, some spicy candles and some well-stacked wood in your fireplace hearth.
Tip up your chin and watch the migrating geese. Read the poem of the same name by Mary Oliver out loud.
You’re going to be nesting for many moons, so be sure to stock the pantry, cabinets and the freezer.
Enjoy some pretzels, knockwurst, potato pancakes and black forest cake to celebrate Oktoberfest.
Make a centerpiece with pinecones, brightly colored leaves and pumpkins.
There is a quiet hush in the air just before night falls. Get out and enjoy it before the first snowfall keeps you inside.
Pass out the rakes and then jump in the biggest pile of leaves you can gather.
Put aside some clothes you'd otherwise give to charity to stuff with straw and make a funny scarecrow.
Start a new family ritual. Find something to be grateful for every day and share your thankfulness at dinnertime.
Understand that nature depends on slowing down for survival and consider what slowing down means in your family's life.
A hat, some gloves, a scarf - incorporate velvet or velour into your dressing style. Or use fuzzy ribbon accents in your fall décor.
Go for an afternoon family walk and enjoy the smell of distant wood smoke.
Stop putting Xs on your to-do list and sit and look out the window while you enjoy a cup of afternoon tea.
Yarn refers to the kind that is for knitting by the fire and the kind you spin when you share your childhood glories and defeats with your kids.
Practice sharing the bounty: bake loaves of zucchini bread and deliver them to your neighbors.
Freelance journalist and author, Christina is a lover of all things autumn. Her latest book is The Writer's Workout from Writer's Digest Books.