Monday, November 8, 2010

AUTUMN, by Charlene Farnsworth

When I think of autumn, I think of the magnificent “Autumn in New England” tour that my Mom and I took many years ago. That was when I felt as though I really was a New England transplant rather than a native-born Californian.

Of course, we were visiting the New England states -- Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont -- during the cool, colorful autumn as opposed to the hot, humid summer or snowy, slippery winter.

The people we met were delightful and greeted us “westerners” warmly. Their pace seemed to be less driven than ours and they took time to talk with calm demeanors, eye contact and cheerful smiles. We enjoyed their charming pronunciation of the English language, especially the “maniacs” from Maine. One tour guide was a third generation “maniac” and he gave us a lesson in speaking their language. He said, “If a word ends with an ‘r,’ take it away.” (“Car” would become “ca.”) He continued, “If a word does not end in ‘r,’ add one.” (“Saw” would become “sar.”)

It also seemed as though pretty posies peered from every window. And many of the restaurants, hotels and homes had bright red geraniums blooming profusely indoors. Many homes had harvest-colored decorations adorning their porches  corn stalks, gourds, pumpkins, etc.

At this time of year we could see the red, yellow, orange and green trees in every direction, as far as the eye could see. Many times a tree would have a combination of these colors as it progressed through the fall season.

The beauty of both the landscape and the people made for an everlasting memory of our trip to New England. Upon returning home, I wrote the following poem:


Fond memories that I recall

Are of New England in the fall.

Vermont, New Hampshire, coastal Maine --

Majestic scenes that never wane.

Rolling hills that stretch for miles;

Country homes that bring warm smiles.

Each within a lovely setting --

Something I’ll not be forgetting.

The colors, brightest I have seen:

Some red, some yellow, orange and green.

It is quite rare to see a fence;

The open landscape makes more sense.

And on each porch, a friendly touch;

The fall arrangements add so much.

With corn stalks and some pumpkins, too;

They certainly do welcome you.

And folks took time to stop and chat;

I always will remember that.

These memories give me a yen

To see New England once again.


  1. Thank you, Charlene, for this timely memory. It reminds me that seeing New England in the fall is definitely on my "bucket list." You have brought it all to life quite beautifully. My three friends, Pam, Joan, and Erinna, are in New England even as I write this. I hope they are enjoying their time as much as you did yours.

  2. Autumn in New England, my favorite place to be at my favorite time of year. For anyone who has not been there it definately should be a priority. I've been there many times in Autumn and you describe it well and trust me you would enjoy it with equal pleasure should you have the opportunity to visit again because each Autumn season is like viewing another spectacular sunset, each different but each the same in bringing about awsome revelations within to reveal a loving intelligent creator.

  3. From Kacie:

    Your color description reminded me of driving through Utah years ago. You reminded me how much I've always wanted to visit Boston, where my sixth grade teacher Mr. Whelan moved to. He also pronounced car without the "r" at the end. So cute! Your stories always conjure up memories for me of my childhood. And (to me) that's always a sign of a great writer.
    God bless,

  4. Charlene,
    Your story and poem conjured up beautiful images of what the New England autumn season looks and feels like. Having never been there I couldn't say whether that part of the States follows what it's namesake, (Old) England, from where I came, is like. I picture the settlers giving it the name of the country which they had left and probably planting all the many colored trees to remind themselves of their homeland. Or were the trees already there, when they arrived, bringing to their minds the dear land which they had so courageously left? And their speech, did they stay in a tight knit group so their Anglo pronunciation never changed much, distinguishing them from the rest of the great union of the United States, even to this day?
    We who inherit such marvels and idiosyncrasies are lucky indeed and fortunate we have writers like you to tell us about it.

  5. Dear Charlene, Every line of your poem seemed like brush strokes on a painting. Your story and poem so vibrant with color and mood, and yes...longing too. Thank you for the lovely tour.

  6. Dear Charlene, you're a very descriptive writer. I thouroughly enjoyed the colorful journey. Thanks for taking us with you. Great writing as always. Annette

  7. Just delightful Charlene. I envy your talent for writing poetry. I was there with you in New England, enjoying the magnificence of the fall scenery and the brisk fresh air.