Free Fallin’

Ginko leaves on the ground.
Ginkgo leaves on the ground.

Time has a way of getting away from me – it always has, though it seems to be even more pronounced with each passing year. I managed to pack a lot into my summer this year, though, at least partially due to actually thinking about (and listing) what I wanted to do in advance. I’m hoping I can have a similar good effect on my fall, so I don’t just spend the next three months lamenting how short the days are getting. (Which is happening already, alas. It was dark at 8:15 when I got off the Metro tonight. Sigh.)

Without further ado, here’s a list of 10 a dozen baker’s dozen things I’d like to accomplish between now and Thanksgiving, which I am declaring the official end of fall.

1. Go for a hike. It’s been ages since I’ve been hiking, so I’d like to hit the Shenandoah Valley or Harper’s Ferry or even Rock Creek Park for a hike some time after the leaves have started to turn.

2. Watch baby James smash birthday cake all over his face. This is a bit of a cheat, as I already have tickets to Houston at the end of the month, but I suppose it could be complicated by either Eileen’s refusal to provide cake or James’ unwillingness to spread it all over his face as his cousins have all done.

3. Go to the National Book Festival.  This annual event – my official favorite holdover from the Bush administration – has been expanded to two days this year, which is cool, but most of the authors I want to see (Toni Morrison, Jennifer Egan, Sarah Vowell, Dave Eggers, and others) are on the Saturday schedule, so I probably won’t need the extra day.

4. Have G for his first sleepover. Overnights at Auntie Sarah’s started for D at age five, a milestone little brother G hits in just a couple of weeks. I don’t have a plan in place yet, but I suspect a Caps game may be involved, and possibly a visit to the new kid-centric business in my neighborhood.

5. Go apple picking. This has become something of a tradition for sprite, Rudi, and me – one I hope to continue this year, though I still haven’t eaten all the applesauce I made with last year’s haul. Hmm… it may be time to make an applesauce pie to get rid of the overage.

6. Find – and eat! – fresh cider donuts. I’ve made no secret of my love for cider donuts, and no fall is complete without a pilgrimage to get some.

7. Take D to Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob. Ever since D became obsessed with the Fallingwater LEGO set, I’ve wanted to take him out to Western Pennsylvania to see the real Fallingwater and the other Frank Lloyd Wright house nearby, Kentuck Knob. Jen and I had hoped to take him over summer, but ran out of time, so I hope we can fit it in this fall instead. (I mean, what kind of historic preservationist auntie would I be if I didn’t encourage his love of architecture, right?)

8. Try at least three new-to-me restaurants. I have a bad habit of going to the same places to eat all the time, rather than trying out the new joints that are springing up around my neighborhood. H Street NE, in particular, has more than a few places I still need to try, and one a month seems reasonable, no?

9. Go on a tour at one – or both – of DC’s new breweries. In the past few months, DC Brau and Chocolate City Beer have opened, bringing locally brewed beer back to our nation’s capital. Ever one to support local business, I’ve tried – and enjoyed – the products from both at local bars, but I’d also love to visit the source, though I don’t know if Chocolate City is doing tours yet.

10. Take in some art and/or history. I’ve been incredibly lazy over the last couple of years about going to museums, despite the fact that DC has a ton of them, and most of which are free. So, time to correct this problem. I’m going to aim for three – one per month – just like my restaurant plan. The newly-redone Peacock Room at the Freer is definitely on my list, preferably on one of the special days when the shutters will be open, but I need to poke around to see what special exhibitions are on.

11. Organize a get-together with the Pennsylvania cousins. We haven’t had one since Eileen and James were in town in June, so it’s time. Within another year or so, Susan’s daughters will be too grown to want to hang out with their manic little boy cousins, so we need to step up the family bonding until we reach that day.

12. Read five books. Yes, this was on the summer list too, but it’s always good to keep it in mind. And, since it’s the one thing I didn’t quite finish, I need to strive for perfection this time around. First up: The Game by Ken Dryden, my unfinished book from the summer, and Room by Emma Donoghue, the selection my book group will be discussing this weekend. (Better hurry!) A Clash of Kings is next on the list, but given that it’s about a thousand pages (literally) this means books four and five will be short. Possibly with pictures.

13. Learn how to do crossovers. I started my level two ice skating classes, and crossovers are on the curriculum for this session. Given that they involve both edges and skating on one foot, they’re a huge challenge, but I think one I can accomplish. Unlike stopping. I am going to need remedial stopping lessons one of these days.

Kind of a lot to accomplish in 11 weeks – and I didn’t even include anything from the knitting list I made. Or all the Caps games I’ll be seeing. Oof.

What’s on your (perhaps slightly more reality-based) list for the fall?

About Sarah Heffern

Writer. Editor. Preservationist. Social media enthusiast. Caps/Nats fan. Knitter. Reader. Traveler. Beer drinker. WDC via STNY.

8 thoughts on “Free Fallin’

  1. Good list. I can recommend Zengo’s roofdeck if you’re in the mood for Asian fusion after work with coworkers (or, you know, us) one night. We went there with Susan, Phillip, and Holden a few weeks back and all enjoyed it. Holden particularly recommends their menus; he says they’re delicious.

  2. Re #13: Maybe there is a genetic thing about stopping? Oldest STILL struggles with it on his left skate. Encouragement: he loves crossovers, especially backwards, so take heart!

      1. I could never stop while skiing. Totally genetic. And if skating snowplow is like skiing snowplow, be careful. Very rough on the knees.

        Watched a you tube demo of crossovers. Good luck.

  3. You may need a leave of absence from your job to accomplish all this :)

    #7 I would love to meet you & Jen and D at Fallingwater, if that is ok and can be worked out.

    Of course, I’m going to do #2 too!

    And, maybe if you get #11 organized, it could be an early Thanksgiving and that way all get to eat turkey & fixings twice, and we could probably knock apple picking, hiking, and cider and donuts off your list — all in one event!!

    I like all the other items on your list (esp 8, 9 & 10). Per TWC (and Loon), Fall is coming in a couple of days. On with your list….

  4. Glad to make the list…since I don’t want to be personally responsible for failure of the 100% (and because I LOVE list-crossing-off so much it could be a hobby), now #11 is WAY more likely to happen then when I was just wishing it into existence! :-)

    And I’m hoping the girls won’t ever be too old for that. Just the other day, Lauren was requesting a little brother or sister. After I finished hauling myself off the floor from laughter, I reminded her that’s what all the cousins are for :-)

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