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For as long as I can remember Fall has been my favorite season. I love being able to put on a sweatshirt after the heat of summer. I love the smell of the leaves and hearing their rustle as I walk through them. I don’t love the raking part, but I absolutely love the the blanket of color they provide as they coat the ground. I remember once driving down a really ugly, street in GR and even it was beautiful with leaves coating the streets and lawns. I love pumpkins, either for decorating or eating. Apple cider, warm or cold. And of course the donuts. Oh, the donuts…YUM. And donuts with apple cider…even more yum. I love making making apple sauce and having the smell permeate the house. It makes the home so warm and inviting. It also makes one hungry…there’s nothing quite like the taste of warm, fresh applesauce.

I love the colors of Fall, the oranges, yellows, and reds. It can be so incredibly beautiful to drive around Michigan on a crisp, sunny Fall day…the colors just pop against the blue sky. I’ve always known if I moved away from Michigan I would miss Fall so much. It is a fabulous season in Michigan, even if it does have two big downsides (A. it goes way too fast and B. it is followed by winter).

Fall in Alabama is lovely so far in it’s own right. The temps are currently in the 80’s with cool evenings…it really is nice. After the blistering heat of summer and September, it’s a welcome change. And it’s great to know it isn’t going to be soon followed by months of drab winter. However, the saddest part is the apples. They are…to put it kindly…lacking. This is definitely not apple country. They’re imported from Washington and not remotely as tasty as Michigan’s. Plus, my very favorite apple, The Macintosh, is extremely hard to find down here at all. It’s so sad. This year we did at least have some homemade applesauce, thanks to my sister in law, Elisa. She sent us home with some when we visited Michigan. We savored that!

I have been thrilled to discover there are some colors on the trees here. Definitely not as glorious as Michigan, but the colors add extra beauty to the foothills we live in. I’m posting a picture, especially for Pam, to show the bit of color we have here. I’m so grateful for it! These are trees right outside our apartment.

If you’re in Michigan, savor this season; it goes quickly. Eat a donut and a Macintosh for me.

Directions, Please?

This morning I was on my way to a small group I recently joined. On the way there a guy flagged me down while we were both stopped at a red light. I thought that was a bit odd, but I thought maybe he was from Michigan and saw my license plate. Or maybe something was wrong with my tire or another part of our van. Nope. He asked for directions. From me. The woman driving the minivan from Michigan. That wouldn’t have been my first choice for getting directions in Birmingham. Now if we were in Michigan, I could get you almost anywhere in Kent County, as well as many other places in the state. But I’m in Alabama and my license clearly shows I’m a bit out of place. Nevertheless the guy asks me. And would you believe it, I actually could tell him! I did tell him he probably shouldn’t ask me because I was from Michigan. He said he was from Florida. (Good luck to him!) He asked for directions to the Galleria…the big mall in Bham. I’d been there exactly twice but that was where I was headed, so I had just called Matt for directions. I was pretty excited I could actually give someone directions somewhere!

But then I started thinking. (I do that sometimes. It gets me in trouble.) Why would he pick me out of all the cars on the road? (It’s an extremely big and busy road. He clearly had other options.) Was it because I’m a woman in a minivan? Do women in minivans know where all the malls are? Maybe. So then I’m a bit annoyed that I could help him and had actually fed into that stereotype. Normally I avoid the mall and shopping in general, so feeding into that stereotype was really a fluke. But then I started thinking more. (It doesn’t end sometimes!) If I was going to ask someone something, would I go for the person that best fits the stereotype? Yes, I might very well do that. So I’ll cut the guy some slack. Especially since I’ll never see him again. Unless I go to Florida. Then maybe I’ll ask him for directions.

So if you come to Alabama feel free to ask me for directions! Don’t mind the Michigan license plate! I can easily get you to:
The Mall
One hospital
Several grocery stores (including Whole Foods, so that’s not a bad deal)

I also have a good shot of getting you to:
A couple schools
The library
The zoo

Yeah, I know, it’s like I own the place.

It’d just be sooo much easier if I could use my hand as a map when giving directions.

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Bama Life

Two months in Alabama…hard to believe! So much has happened since we moved here. I thought I’d post some pictures to give you a sample of our life here so far.

Let me start with the bugs. Wood Roaches to be exact. I hate them. A lot. They are very common in our apartment, the garage, and the outdoors. They’re frequent on the floors, but I’ve also seen them on the kitchen counter and climbing up glass. In these pics one climbed into a spaghetti jar in the garage and couldn’t get out. He‘s average size; we often get them both bigger and smaller in our apartment. K┬ácalls them crabs. I asked a guy yesterday if one ever gets used to them…he said Never. I thought I disliked bugs in Michigan, those are like cute little pets now! The guy added the roaches here you can put a leash on and take for a walk! Ewwwwww.

Here’s another critter we have running around, but I’ve only seen this one so far; S has seen more. These I don’t mind. I took this pic through the screen because I knew he’d run away if I tried to get closer. He’s sitting on our porch rail. Kind of cute, isn’t he? He’d be even cuter if he scared away the roaches!

Okay, southern folks, anyone know what this tree is? I saw it the other day and it reminded me of M & M’s growing on a tree!

Our apartment has an attached garage with a little driveway. There’s no playground here, which I hate, but at least K can ride her bike in our driveway. Our apartment is behind the garage and can’t be seen in the first picture. The second picture is our front walk. The windows are K’s room and one of the bathrooms. The third pic is the pool in the complex. Nice, isn’t it?

Another type of critter around our apartment is ducks. Ugly ones. Really ugly ducks. And as of yet, no swans. They wander all over, even on to porches occasionally, looking for someone to give them food. I don’t think I’ve ever seen ducks this ugly!
This is a pic from Matt’s office building. I have to say, apart from the roaches and snakes, this is definitely a pretty part of the country!

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