While Christmas songs are already being played in the Bay Area so early in November, and people are already going to tree farms to cut trees and set them up in their living room, it is still fall in my world. I think people are so much in want of celebrations and cheer that they are embracing Christmas even before Thanksgiving arrives. This is very, very unusual! Fall is my most favorite season, in competition with spring. Fall, this year, though, was just like a short, cozy dream. I am not ready to let it go yet.
The real chilly weather did not arrive until this week which was the second week of November. My world has become so small because of shelter in place. I barely got to walk around, step on crunch leaves and see the changing of foliage. (The streets where I live have been changed to pedestrian only. It is so bothersome to drive around blocked off streets that are meant for walking only.) Halloween was canceled (at least at our house.) We did not give out candies to trick or treaters.
Despite all of these, there are still plenty of fall joys. I am only letting go of fall at the end of November. December is for winter. And it is going to be a long winter as it always is. It is my tradition to write a Fall Joy List. My list this year is shorter but there are still plenty of joys in the form of blessings at home, quiet moments, slow living, dark yet cozy evenings with Mr Sweetie and many delicious freshly baked goods fresh out of the oven.
Trader Joe’s Fall Haul
October is Bay Area’s summer. All throughout October, the weather has been warm and gorgeous in the 70s and excruciatingly hot in the low 80s. This would have been perfect if had been spring or still summer. Despite the weather not getting the news that it is already fall, I refused for it to stop me from welcoming my fave season by doing a fall treats haul at Trader Joe’s. I love Trader Joe’s all year long but more during the holidays. I happily loaded up on seasonal foods such as Maple Streusel Bread, Pumpkin Butter, Cinnamon Bun Spread, Pumpkin samosas and empanadas, little pumpkins and pretty much everything pumpkin!
Fall at the Farmers Market
The farmers market in San Francisco’s Civic Center is very cozy during fall. It is teeming with fresh fall harvests, pumpkins of different varieties, shapes and sizes, sunflowers and hot foods! Even though I work from home on Wednesdays, it is such a treat whenever I needed to go into my office on Wednesdays and get to shop at the farmers market.
Delicious Breakfast and Cozy Evening Treats
The cold and dark fall mornings (before the day warmed up in the afternoons) are so perfect for hot coffee and eggs on toasts or croissants, while the afternoon tea brings the much needed respite after a long day of working from home. I was able to enjoy a coconut pie from BFF and cottage cheese on bagel as the sun casts its last rays before the evening. And at night, a chilled glass of bubbles, crackers and jar of artichoke dip made for the perfect dinner to end the day.
Pumpkins, gourds, squash, sunflowers….Taking pictures of these things is among my fall joys. My phone is full of photos and colors of fall. It is a free hobby and they make me happy. Pumpkins surrounded us until the end of October — big, ugly, full of warts yet beautiful pumpkins in all of their imperfections and uniqueness. There were so many varieties including Cinderella’s fairy tale pumpkins!
My 2020 Fall List
What I missed this year…
Every year, I write a fall to-do list. My list this year is pretty short because of the limitations brought about by the pandemic. I have missed out on attending Fall Harvest Festival at church, driving around to see Halloween displays in my neighborhood (because of blocked off streets and not many people put up displays), giving candies to trick or treaters (for safety reasons), etc.
I was pretty much able to do everything on my list except for baking pumpkin waffles. (Well, there is still time since I have until the end of November to make pumpkin waffles!).
As for watching a classic Halloween movie, I cannot believe that I have not seen Hocus Pocus until this year! What?!!!! I got to watch it during Halloween.
I got to read a couple of enjoyble fall and Halloween books — Company of Liars which was a historical fiction about the Black Plague of the 1300s. I started it last fall but put it down to make way for more cheery holiday reads. I picked it up and finished it this October. How ironic it was that we are also in the midst of a pandemic! For a more fun read, I enjoyed Hocus Pocus Magic Shop as reviewed by “A Well Read Tart” and a couple more. Please check out my Instagram for book reviews @cozybaylife.
Until the current shortage on canned pumpkins, I got to bake 3 batches of the moistest pumpkin muffins. Here is my recipe.
And the highlight of my fall was a trip to the pumpkin patch with Mr Sweetie where we also got to enjoy a lovely sit down seafood meal for the first time since the lockdown. It was such a beautiful day in the Bay Area.
I posted pictures of Halloween at home here. There will be more updates on my “Being Grateful October” post. This pretty much sums up my fall season this year. This season was different and more subdued because of the pandemic. However, it also brought solitude, quietness and challenge to embrace contentment in the midst of challenging times.