One of my very favorite traditions is the annual fall Woodstock weekend that my husband and I spend with his brother and sister-in-law. The first year was actually a late summer gathering, but I, mountain-bred girl that I am, needed a fall weekend with time spent among hills patchworked with gold and green and orange, and the rush of wind in glowing leaves over my head. So I co-opted the weekend from August to October. Two years ago, the weekend took place days after we got engaged; last year, it was the weekend of our wedding. This time (our fifth year) was our first anniversary.
Every year we do the same activities (flea market, apple picking) and visit the same restaurants, and that process of layering year after year of similar memories on top of one another is just the most magical thing. "Was it the wedding house or the mountain view house that had the crazy staircase?" "Do you remember when we were packing up after the wedding weekend and there was that insane ladybug swarm?" And of course, "What year was it that Bethany got baked for the first time?" (Some day I will tell you guys that story.)
So this year we did old things and new things, both of them equally precious. New layers of memory were added to the pile: the morning hour I spent alone on the balcony at the house, listening to the wind in the golden trees; the sweetness of the port that the owner of our wedding venue gave us with our anniversary dinner. The fire we built and proudly maintained until four o'clock in the morning.
If you really want to feel the mood, click this link and listen to the most exquisite country-folk harmony ever recorded by a pair of Swedish girls: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PC57z-oDPLs
This was our fireside, where we sat up late listening to music and laughing and telling stories:
And then we woke up the next morning in our little mountain house to these leaves:
And then went for a ramble around town:
Woodstock Flea Market
My dream house, on Rock City Road
And then slowly drove home the next day, stopping for apples and donuts and whiskey and wine.
this year's haul
It was a perfect, magical weekend, the way each of them has been. And as soon as the vibrancy of the leaves fades from my eyes, I will be looking forward to the next year.