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Making Fall – High Desert Blogging Writing Contest Winner

photo 1Making Fall by Cristen Velasquez won third place in the September 2013 writing contest at Congratulations, Cristen!

Making Fall


Seasons haven’t always brought me warm and fuzzy feelings. They’ve brought other things, though. Winter in Houston means a nice marriage between humidity and cold. It buries itself in you no matter how many layers you might be wearing and stays there until you take a hot shower. Spring brings rain, and bugs follow the rain. In Texas, we get water bugs. They’re like roaches, but bigger and they fly at you. Summer brings heat that always breaks a record or two, and for a fair-skinned person like me, a good burn or two comes along for fun. Then comes Fall.

Fall isn’t really a season around here. It’s more like two and a half weeks where the acorns make dents in your hood and you find small leaves and flowers blown onto the floor board. Scorching heat goes further south and you start risking the outdoors without three layers of sunscreen. The humidity fades away for a moment and you start wearing boots for fun, since you’re technically still using the air conditioner, but want to look the part anyway. If you have the same level of baking skills that I do, you’ll buy the pre-made cinnamon roll dough at Trader Joe’s and let everyone believe you made them yourself. Water, a couple cinnamon sticks and an orange peel make a wonderful simmer pot and make an apartment feel a little more like home.

Sometimes, I forget to really enjoy the seasons. Life passes me by all the time and I often wonder where it went. My newborn daughter turned into a sweet natured ten-month-old who knows how to crawl and get into Mommy’s things now. It’s easy to bypass the pumpkin patch by year after year until one day you realize you haven’t been to one since you were a kid. The first year of marriage goes by, then the second, and then halfway through the third you notice you’ve never even decorated before. I’ve decided recently to slow down. I found simple recipes and ideas on Pinterest and I’m actually doing them. I’ve decided to start making memories.

As I mentioned before, simmer pots are perfect for challenged homemakers like me. You throw a couple things in a pot and suddenly it smells like a holiday is on its way. Marshall’s has beautiful crystal vases and decorative platters that are perfect for fall foliage. If you’re into do-it-yourself projects, making your own decorative foliage is simple – find dried leaves, pine cones, acorns, and anything else that you think fits, add an essential oil that you like, and you’re all set! Homemade wreaths are actually quite easy and fun to make and I’ve even been paid to make extra ones for friends!

Spending money on fall decorations, even inexpensive ones, can seem frivolous to a family on a budget, but it’s worth it. We don’t see the trees change color or feel the breeze pick up speed. There isn’t a crisp chill in the air. The atmosphere completely relies on what you make out of it, even if you do happen to live in a place where nature is more declarative of the seasons. We choose to create Fall. I want my children to have good memories of every season, even the one that lasts for two and a half weeks. I want my daughter to remember kind words spoken over Trader Joe’s cinnamon rolls. We will wear scarves, even if the air conditioner is on. There will be tantalizing Halloween candy just low enough for her to sneak some when I’m not looking. The cookie jar will be full. Hot chocolate will happen. If we don’t do it for them, no one else will. Yes, it’s definitely worth it.

Happy Fall!


Cristen is married and mom to a one-year-old daughter.  Having a passion for making a difference in the lives of youth, she writes and also speaks at youth and women events.

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