Pumpkin Spice Quiet

I love autumn for many reasons. I’m not constitutionally suited to summer’s heat, I don’t sleep as well on hot nights, and I HATE summer’s abundance of bugs. I also think that my circadian rhythm works best in spring and fall, when light and darkness are more evenly balanced. Sunshine pouring in the windows fifteen hours a day is too much for me, even though I do like a bright summer morning or a mellow summer evening.

The best part of autumn for me though, is the quiet. My dear neighbors cease their incessant use of lawnmowers, weed whackers, blowers, trimmers, and buzz saws (power tools, all, of course). These good fellows (I’m surrounded by aging bachelors) rotate, such that Friday evening, Saturday morning, and Sunday morning, somebody is  always mowing grass, all summer long, and those guys do like big, loud equipment.

I avoid using AC, especially during daylight hours, so my windows are open in summer, and that means more noise from traffic going by the house. There is a literal bull pen across the lane, and summer seems to be the time for Ferdinand and his roomie to serenade the waxing moon (or something). All those endearing young men in their flatulent pickup trucks go roaring by in summer, and on hot days even my box fans create quite a racket.

But now… all is peaceful. The loudest thing the bulls next door do is munch grass. I hear an occasional owl hoot after dark, but even that is a soft sound. Without the fans roaring, I can sit in my typing chair and hear a cat purring on the table beside me. Getting up at 7 am doesn’t feel like half the morning has passed me by, and going to bed at 10:30 feels just about right.

We sing carols in winter, and the birdies offer their arias in spring. Summer is for marching band parades, fireworks, boomboxes, and street rods… just not my soundscape at all. Autumn is for peace and quiet, and even without the pumpkin spice everything, cooler temperatures, and shorter days, I will always favor quiet over noise.

Is there a soundtrack to your seasons? A seasonal soundtrack you prefer? Or maybe autumn is noisy for you?  I’m sending out my ARCs for Miss Dauntless this week. If you don’t get one, and want one, just email me at [email protected]

PS: The audio version of Lady Violet Finds a Bridegroom is now available!

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15 comments on “Pumpkin Spice Quiet

  1. I am usually a spring/summer person but this year I got caught out big time,the heat here in the U K was extreme.No rain for our beautiful flowers and plants and we were banned from using hoses.Our water supplies were dangerously low.This meant using the watering can which turned out to be a major exercise for my tired self.Usual daily tasks like walking to local shops for food supplies became an exercise in stamina.Having no car or other modes of transport and reliant on feet reduced me to a floppy rung out wreck.So I looked forward to Autumn and now it’s here what a joy.On a recent walk to my daughters home I walk through a park and the leaves are falling fast on the grass .Shades of gold,red,Brown ,yellow and green.They crunch beneath my feet and it is a sound of loss but also the start of the cycle of life.A simple statement but very profound one.I prefer simple these days,I have lived through all of ups and downs being here brings but give me simple now.Let nature continue her show and I will sort out my warmer clothing and carry on crunching through the season.Stay safe one and all.

  2. I love Autumn. I love the angle of the sun making everything golden. I love the pleasant temps and the leaves turning colors. And yes, I love the quiet.

    Other than the occasional *kid* (aka the adult down the street with his dream car)revving his engine, it is quiet. Except for the Yippy Dogs. These are white little balls of fluff who are ADORABLE and who are LOUD. One of my neighbor’s has two yippys and the other had three of them and they are LOUD.

    Several years ago I decided the only way to combat the LOUD little critters was to fight fire with fire. I bought Wind Chimes–and I don’t mean one or two–and hung them from the maple tree in the middle of our yard. When the maple tree had to come down, I put up several shepherd hoods and hung them from those. I have chimes ranging from low to high in pitch and the are lovely!

    Just yesterday, I remarked to my Hubby how much those chimes mean to me, the *music of the spheres* if you will. I listen for them all year long and on windy days, they are comforting. In the middle of the night during winter, they make me smile. Yesterday, a perfectly warmish Oct. 1 day, they were lovely.

    I don’t know if the *yippy dogs* and their owners notice them but it bothers me to hear the little fluff balls yipping at all times of the day and night outside, during all sorts of weather. I don’t think a small dog should be outside for an hour in 10 below temperatures or when it’s 95 degrees and humid either. But they are. And my way of getting them to notice is music–and it comforts me too.

    Have a good week, Grace.

  3. Rain. The sound of rain on a roof, a lake, a tent, anything. It’s my soundscape. I turn everything off when the rain starts. I go upstairs so I can hear it on the roof. It doesn’t make for very productive days, but I’ll stop everything to sit and listen to the rain.

  4. Hurricanes are my great delight. Not the destructive Ian beasts that wreck lives, but the gentler variety that Florida natives live their lives around.

    A fellow resident mentioned they felt like vacations & I had to agree. For those of us safely inland on higher ground, it means the world LEAVES US ALONE!!!

    Out comes our flashlights & candles. The snacks get opened & the fizzy flavored waters. Off goes the incessant spam calls, TVs & interweb. Those huge heat engines suck a good 30 degrees out of the atmosphere & the house is suddenly cool after roasting us & our electric bills for months on end. For 2-3 days we eat, sleep, read every book we didn’t get to, play fondly remembered music on battery-powered boomboxes when not listening to the weather radio & otherwise live our ancestors’ notion of luxurious idleness.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m all too aware of what happened downstate. I’m old enough to remember bodies in trees after Camille & the terrifying majesty of the sunlit sky inside the thermos bottle eye wall of Dora before the other side of the eye wall came crashing down on my childhood home.

    But surviving the lesser beasts leaves me intensely grateful for what I’d otherwise take for granted. The blessings of a solid roof & walls, the joys of clean running water & the bliss of hot coffee, warm showers & clean laundry become foremost in my mind. I’m reminded of the old stories of doves sent force upon the face of the waters. And seeing Tampa Bay become dangerously walkable ground before the sea came roaring back evokes Moses leading the tribes across the Red Sea before the surge came crashing back to wipe out Pharaoh’s chariots.

    The power tools & chainsaws are back. But with them comes the beautiful cool weather of post hurricane clear. And I am mindful of the incredible wealth & blessings of my life. And the joy to be found in what my elders used to call a gentle sufficiency. How rich I am compared to the generations who came before me!

  5. I love the sound of summer nights in Virginia up in the woods, tree frogs? cicadas? It’s a two part harmony and comes from different parts of the yard, one after the other. Also the owls call to each other, one mezzo soprano and one contralto, back and forth. So I guess I am a summer person.

  6. I think, for me, sounds become interesting when I’m out of my element. I was away from home recently and the bird sound was so different! I loved noticing the difference.
    I used to have noisy neighbors, too… but, their noise was in the form of music. I could always tell when someone was having a birthday or celebrating a graduation from the party noise.

  7. I would love to sleep with the windows open in the fall when it gets cooler, but darn allergies prefer me to be breathing air filtered by the HEPA filter in my HVAC. I do adore the winds that come with fall, though, rushing through the trees and creating a beautiful susurration of the drying leaves. Such a delight!

    And Grace, I am so looking forward to reading to Miss Dauntless! Thank you for your imagination and your wonderful stories

  8. It is very quiet in my subdivision most of the time. We live in the middle of Alabama and the heat, humidity and mosquitoes in normal times would have to be experienced to believe. Almost everyone here – except the very poor – has at least a window air conditioner or two. Most have a heat pump or central heating and air. We also have several fans to circulate the air better.

    In my neighborhood, most people have their doors and windows shut because of the air conditioning, and few people sit outside (mosquitoes and gnats). Other than the dog walkers in the mornings and evenings, the place looks deserted. Without rain, we don’t have near as many gnats or mosquitoes as usual, not even as many flies.

    We have not had any rain for several weeks and the humidity is much lower. I am appreciating it although the lawn is not. FYI our lawn has some grass mixed with many other plants. I am not a fan of one-species lawns. I like the small plants with the tiny flowers.

    I have not seen a large flock of birds in a long time, which makes me sad.

    • FYI I have never had anything pumpkin spice and am finally going to give in and buy or bake some pumpkin spice cookies or muffins. I do love pumpkin pie, although I prefer sweet potato pie.

  9. I actually prefer nature’s sounds to all human sounds and the season doesn’t matter (maybe because it doesn’t change that much here in central Florida). That means I don’t even turn on the radio, especially if I’m reading. I prefer what is almost silence. Of course, now that my hearing has deteriorated, I don’t quite want to lose it all but I would rather lose my hearing than my vision. Mostly, I am disturbed by sounds “out of their time.” By this I mean the neighborhood kids making loud noises after dark and what should be their bedtimes or neighbor’s parties that start during the day and/or last past 10 PM (our local noise ordinance cutoff), though I can accept it until midnight now that I stay up that late. But it was bad when I had to go to bed at 9:30PM when I was still working.
    I’m basically an introvert, even inside my own house. My partner pretty much has the TV on if he’s “at home” even if he’s not in the TV room. I finally convinced him to turn it off if he’s going to be gone more than 30 minutes. So he usually turns it off when he’s going to the grocery store but he’s always sure he’ll only be on the computer (at the other side of the house) for a “minute or two.”

  10. I like the deep quiet of a heavy snowfall, no loss of electricity required, everything just feels a bit hushed. I also find myself making less noise in general around the house, like I’m in a library, and just enjoy a cup of tea and gazing out the window while the snow falls. Later comes the plows and snowblowers and delighted play of the kids, that’s a bit less my favorite, but I associate those noises with neighborliness so don’t mind much.

  11. I adore your stories. I’ve been breezing through your books as I’m on bed rest for health issues. Just loving them!!

    I tried to poke around and see if I could find anything, but I was wondering if there would be a Catullus or Yolanda book coming out?

  12. We live in a developing subdivision. The seasons are marked by engines of one sort and another from construction, loaders, cement trucks and nail guns to the typical sounds of suburbia, lawnmowers, snowblowers, garbage trucks. Soon we’ll have chain saws as many heat with wood. However, it’s a small town in the middle of not much with a largely elderly population. By five pm it’s quiet. By ten, most of the lights are out, as well. Even the emergency vehicles operate without sirens most of the time.

    The music that plays in the empty parts of my brain (as my mother calls it) mostly follow the church year, although not always with hymns. Tomorrow is St. Francis of Assisi with the blessing of the animals, and the song is Bless the Beasts and the Children

  13. For better or worse, we are pretty insulated from the outdoor sounds around us, living in a house where we use HVAC winter, spring and summer (due to bad allergies). However the one time I notice the sounds around me, or lack thereof, is after a significant snowfall. When we take ourselves outside early in the morning to shovel a path, before the snow plows and snow blowers begin their work, the world seems to stop and hold its breath for a moment. That peace is short lived, but more precious for its brevity. Then the rest of the world rouses and the peace is broken. Stay safe. Stay well everyone!

  14. I can so agree with you on the seasons you mentioned. Fall has always been my favorite time of the year…for so many reasons. Fascinating observation you made about your circadian rhythm. I have never dealt with the heat very well, myself. And I seemed to just exist during the summer for many of the years we lived in Texas, and summers there were so so long there. Gads. We would try to take our vacation in the Fall to the state we grew up in in order to have a ‘genuine Fall’ because what passed for it in Texas was usually a joke. For your sake I am glad the Quiet Season has once again graced us. And I hope you have a really lovely looonnngg one.