Every year, I try to soak up as much fall as I can which starts with brushing off the old decorations. For a few seasons now, I’ve made bucket lists for autumn so I can experience it while it’s here. Sometimes the season comes and goes so quickly, I feel like I wasted it. A bucket list is great when you have a few hours free, or even a whole afternoon or evening. You can glance at your list for quick ideas. The goal isn’t to finish all the items on your list, just to remind you of fun things to do that fill your soul. I find I am a lot more likely to cease the season with a bucket list on my refrigerator. Here’s my list this year.
- Bake something with lots of cinnamon: there’s nothing like detecting freshly grated cinnamon wafting through my house. Cinnamon, even more than pumpkin spice, conjures cozy feelings in my olfactory gland.
- Spend a weekend morning in a coffee shop reading a novel set in autumn: there’s a special coffee spot with a fireplace next to its comfy armchairs where I imagine I could get lost in a PSL and a fictional romance. I’ve been reading lots of these lately because I’ve needed lighter fare. Danielle Steel comes to mind.
- Pick up teaching myself to knit again: When I broke my feet a couple summers ago, I ordered a teach-yourself-to-knit for beginners kit. Forgetting I identify as a perfectionist when it comes to learning new skills, I obsessed over my technique. I concentrated so hard, I’d forget — “was that the 14 or 15th stitch? Better take it all out and start over to be safe.” You can see how I easily frustrated myself and gave up. I’d love to try knitting a cozy color-block scarf again.
- Share peaches from our tree with family and friends: for the first year in many, our peach tree developed delicate fruit that reached their peak just a few days ago. It brings me so much joy to lovingly pick and gather peaches for my cherished ones. It’s a small act of service that allows me to actively love my people. The peaches this year are the best I’ve ever had, hands down.
- Visit my local pumpkin patch on a brightly crisp morning: Don’t get me wrong, I love a good grocery store deal when purchasing autumn cucurbita pepos, but nothing compares ( a la Sinead O’Connor) to the variety of punkins available at my local patch. Not just the dreamy cinderella fairy tale variety, but green pumpkins, warty gourds, and my favorite, the fresh white ones that grow to about half the size of your average orange pumpkin. After nestling the smaller white pumpkins near my front door, our deer/squirrels/raccoons/the occasional bear eviscerated my babies. I huffed and puffed, but the same type popped up in our front yard the next year. My wild white pumpkin is my pride and joy to this day. We have another two growing in our front garden this year, and I couldn’t be more proud. Thanks, Colorado wildlife!
- Drive/hike in the mountains to soak up the glorious golden aspen leaves shimmering on the breeze: this is one of my absolute favorite ways to experience Colorado. Malcolm and I do this often during the autumn evolution of colors. In fact, we did it again today. We have a special spot we drive to which we just found out dumps us out in one of my other favorite places in this state. To preserve its specialness, I won’t share here. But if you come to my town, text me, and I will gladly act as your Tour Guide Barbie (TM).
- Foraging for fall mushies: Ever since I discovered modern foraging (thank you, theblackforager, Alexis Nikole Nelson!), I relish the opportunity to scour my community for wild goodies like choke cherries, saskatoon berries, dandelions, purslane, and apples. I read somewhere autumn is a great time to forage mushrooms like morelles. These have dangerous look-alikes, so I practice extreme caution when searching for mushrooms. I haven’t found one that I trust yet, but I know I will someday – I feel it!
- Halloween wedding: Malcolm and I are getting hitched this Halloween! We’re hosting a non-traditional wedding which will be mostly a costume/Halloween party with a bit of nuptials sprinkled in. We first said we loved eachother on Halloween, so it holds a dear place in our hearts. Plus, Halloween IS MY FAVORITE HOLIDAY EVER, if you couldn’t tell. I am so excited to share how we do it. Allow me to be so bold as to predict Halloween weddings will be all the rage in the next 5 years. I’m especially excited to share our ceremony which will be a jack-o’-lantern of unity. I can’t wait!
This will be one for the books in the Brundage-Durham household. If you’re wondering, I will be keeping my last name. I love Malcolm deeply, but Brundage is who I am. That doesn’t change when I enter a partnership.
What’s on your bucket list this year?