by Pat Stelzer
School is back in session, summer is drawing to a close, and fall, one of the most beautiful times of the year, is almost upon us. Summer doesn’t officially end until September 22, time used in the past to prepare for fall and the coming winter. Years ago, major work came with the arrival of spring and the onset of fall. House cleaning! Took years for the reason to sink in.
Spring meant opening up the house, airing it out to rid it of winter’s stagnation. It was time to change to lighter curtains and bedding, store away the heavier winter ones, and brighten the house with softer colors and accessories. Spring-cleaning was a feverish event. Beat the carpets, mop the floors, wash the windows, get rid of all the dirt and grime brought in on boots and spewed forth from heat sources. It was a time to plant and look forward to fresh vegetables and sweet, ripe fruit.
Fall meant reversing the ritual in preparation for the six months ahead. It was time to get organized again, time to end summer’s schedule. Shoes replaced bare feet, and doors and windows had to be readied for colder weather. Cupboards waited to be stocked with canned goods and jellies. Darker colors were brought from storage chests and boxes, blankets, spreads and heavy curtains were aired to rid them of the smell of moth balls, and the holidays were much anticipated breaks in what might otherwise be a very dreary time of year.
Thanks to progress, the change of seasons doesn’t have quite the same impact it once did. Modern cleaning aids, floor coverings, newer fabrics, and self-contained heating and cooling systems have changed all that. Today, fall can be enjoyed for its own special beauty, not as a harbinger of winter. Spring break has become a time to explore the sun and sand after months of winter, so why not take a ‘fall break’ to explore and enjoy what nature has to offer.
Cooler temperatures make traveling much more comfortable, and many parts of the country offer scenery that can only be termed magnificent. Shopping for unusual or unique gifts is a great excuse. Nashville, Indiana, a small town in Brown County, is one of the best places to enjoy both the scenery and the shops. Brown County, known as one of the Midwest’s most colorful areas in the fall, is located in what they call ‘the mystic blue mountains’. People travel from all over the country just to see the extraordinary foliage. Historic Nashville is one of the premier artist colonies. The area also offers all types of recreation including nature walks and the Little Nashville Opry for those who like a touch of country or bluegrass. While it is possible from some locations to make a one-day visit, two or three days allow time to enjoy all the area has to offer.
The town is a delightful combination of architectural styles, from very rustic to quaint Victorian and everything in between. Shopping is an adventure. Hand made woodcrafts, pottery, vintage cooking utensils, antiques, candles of every size and scent, and all sorts of specialty shops offer something for every taste. Just browsing up and down the streets on a beautiful fall day makes the trip worthwhile. For those who like rustic decorating, it offers a wealth of ideas. More information about Nashville can be obtained at several different websites by typing in key words: Brown County, Indiana, or Nashville, Indiana. A great place to visit any time of the year, it is especially pleasant as autumn brings the trees to their most impressive show of color.
Thankfully, in today’s world, fall isn’t a time to dread because of all the work it brings. Instead, it has become an ideal time to explore the countryside, not just Nashville, and hunt for that little something extra, something to freshen the decor. It’s a good time to use special items; small touches that center on the change of seasons. Halloween jack-o-lanterns, ears of Indian corn, red and gold leaves in floral arrangements, bring the season inside and acknowledge the bountiful gifts of autumn. We can still honor the old tradition of seasonal change, and enjoy it more, without the backbreaking effort it used to require.