Isn't it funny. We get excited when the first daffodils pop up and Spring arrives, Summer gets us sorting out our cool clothes in a fit of optimism and looking forward to our holidays, we get excited about the first flakes of snow in Winter (alright, the feeling soon wears off but the child in all of us stands at the window and watches the first flakes fall). But nothing evokes quite the same feeling as the onset of Autumn.
I think it is a Primeval feeling which goes back to the days when our ancestors lived in caves and spent the Summer getting in supplies, knowing that if there was not enough of them they would die before the Spring.
And so it is that we still do this gathering. Elizabeth (About New York) reminded me of this today and said that she thought there was probably a post there. So thank you for the idea Elizabeth.
We gather in all the crops. In the old days my mother used to gather in runner beans and layer them in huge jars with salt. In order to eat them you had to soak them for 24 hours in water and to be honest, they still tasted disgusting. Now, along with all the other vegetables, we freeze them, pickle them, jam them. Can you remember that smell of apples being kept over Winter? We had boxes in the attic and my father laid the apples out so that they were not touching one another and then kept an eye on them for signs of them going rotten.
Pears from our old tree up the side of the house - fruits which were so hard they could have been made of wood - were wrapped in tissue paper and put in the drawers in the kitchen. Eventually they ripened.
Wood was sawn, piled up into logs and sticks for lighting the fire.
I could go on but sufficient to say that in the end the householder would stand back with a feeling of satisfaction as much as to say, 'Right Winter, do your worst. I am ready for you!'