I walked home from school tonight amidst the first snowfall of the year. I always think there’s something quintessentially romantic about walking down a snowy road at night, watching the streetlights illuminate the curtain of snowflakes. I’m always enchanted by the first snowfall, and by April, I’m always complaining about the snow and the cold weather. Then summer comes and the idea of snow becomes alluring once again, and so the cycle repeats. I suppose that is the beauty of living somewhere with seasons.
The snow means that autumn is officially over, and with the end of autumn, it’s time for me to see how many items I was able to check off my autumn bucket list.
This autumn was rather hectic for me, with a number of trips for weddings and a couple of trips home to Colorado. When I’ve been in Chicago, I’ve been mostly buried under a pile of work, trying desperately to graduate.
So how far did I get on my bucket list?
1. GO TO THE FARMERS MARKET
I’m ashamed of this, but I didn’t make it to the farmers market. In fact, I barely made it to the grocery store, and recently, my diet has involved a large quantity of cereal (I hope my mother is not reading this…).
2. MAKE SOUP
I did plenty of this over the past couple months, and I’ve still got a pumpkin sitting in the kitchen, waiting to be turned into delicious food. I made my favorite butternut squash soup several times, and you can find the recipe here.
3. GO RUNNING ON THE LAKEFRONT TRAIL
I did this unintentionally during my last week of training for the 15K race I ran last weekend. My last long run was supposed to be 8 miles, which was about the distance from northern Chicago to my friend’s apartment downtown via the Lakefront Trail. Since she’d bribed me to run to her place by offering to cook me lunch after my run, I had ample motivation to run. This was shortly after Halloween, when there was apparently a storm that tore up the lakefront. The trail looked like someone had taken a sledgehammer to it.
4. RUN A ROAD RACE
Surprisingly, this one also happened. When I pulled my calf during the last month of training for the 15K race I had signed up to run, I figured there was no way I was actually going to be able to run the entire race. Some intense training during the last couple weeks and a good selection of music got me through the race though. It was 37 F when I ran, and I don’t have any desire to run in that temperature ever again.
Tally: 3/4 (I’m doing pretty well so far!)
5. GO APPLE PICKING
I had plans to go apple picking earlier in the fall, but they didn’t materialize, so I didn’t make it to an orchard. Other than the apples I picked off the tree in my parents’ backyard, which were delicious, I didn’t do any apple picking. Eating fresh apples in Colorado made me realize that I don’t hate all apples, just the store bought ones. Maybe I’ll try apple picking again next year.
6. GO ON A HIKE
This didn’t really happen either, unless you count wandering around in random cities. I don’t even know where my hiking boots are right now, but I’d better find them soon because I’ve got big hiking plans for December!
7. PUMPKIN THEMED FOODS
I made a couple of pumpkin-themed dishes, including pumpkin cream cheese muffins, which were a big hit at school. More pumpkin dishes are in the works, so I’m going to give myself this one.
8. DRINK HOT APPLE CIDER
Sadly, I think this may have only happened once, but there is time to rectify this. The grocery store is still selling fresh apple cider, so I will be making a trip there this week to purchase a jug.
9. SEE THE FALL COLORS
I did do this one properly, going out on a photography adventure one afternoon. Some of the shots I liked best are here.
I think 6/9 isn’t too bad! That’s over fifty percent, and I’m willing to call this challenge a win! Though, in all honesty, I’d probably still call it a win if I’d only done one thing on the list. It was a chance to reflect on my favorite things about autumn and take advantage of the opportunity to do them.
Did you do anything special during the fall?