I find this to be the most awkward, uncomfortable week of the year for me.
Long gone the years where I would be back on a campus, excited for the semester ahead and re-acquainting with friends, after an adventurous action-packed Summer.
As an unmarried professional woman, this week is sort of like white Sunbeam bread. It smells amazing coming towards you; intoxicating you with nostalgic childhood memories and visions of cut off crusts. When you bite into it, it’s too soft, has no distinct flavor and ends up stuck to the top of your mouth leaving you to gum it down and then swallow the glutenous mass. It’s a bittersweet experience. It’s best purpose has always been for spit balls.
It lacks the scents and flavors of the first week of September when you were a child, excitedly preparing for back to school. The smells of freshly sharpened pencils, shiny new plastic cases, the soles of new rubber bottom school shoes, first day of school pancakes with syrup and the undeniable smell of new clothes. Not quite Sunbeam, but wait.
It has none of the scents and flavors as when you are returning home after a Summer spent away at your beach or country house. Freshly laundered linens on the bed that will cradle you through the Winter months, the smell of homemade pasta sauce on the stove, filling the house with tomatoes and garlic and basil that will soon fill your families bellys preparing them for the months ahead. Hot soapy baths that scrubs everyone clean of lingering sand and a batch of chocolate chip cookies; as one last treat before bedtime and the beep beep of the School bus. Not quite Sunbeam, but wait.
These are my childhood memories, flavors and smells of the first week of September. They make me nostalgic, not sad. I suppose I could get all sappy and come a bit unravelled about it. But even if I did, it would only take an XL safety-pin for me to pull it together.
Holding it together like Sunbeam on the roof of your mouth.
My childhood memories remind me how each new Season has to start out somewhat bittersweet.
Sorry to see the Summer go with her bright blue sunshine filled skies, crisp cool refreshing watering holes; the flavors of her fresh seafood, strawberries, watermelon and ice cream.
Yet excited to feel a cooler breeze blowing into town; making the trees begin to blush in pinks and oranges, the apples to crisp on their limbs and the aromas of Autumn’s baked goods wafting from screenless open kitchen windows.
Fall has made her debut, whether we want it or not. I can either resist, push back and refuse to pack my sundresses or I can Fall in. Its awkward, uncomfortable.
So, to make the transition easier, I will create a Dinner Party (for you or just my imagination) for this first week of September, when nothing feels quite right and everything wants to stick to the top of my mouth.
Our table…Soft, overwashed linens, vintage silver (left unpolished), a rustic table that is still Summer but could easily be fit into Fall, baskets (because they are like comfort food), jam jars for drinks ( a cling on to Summer).
The Menu…to feed the September Soul…
Thai Style Pumpkin Soup (think Coconut Milk over Cream)
Butternut Squash, Sage & Parmesan Pizzette
Roasted Pork Loin with fresh Rosemary, Garlic
Salted Caramel Shortbread Bites