The stretch of Route 12 from Cornish, going south, is one among my favorites within the state, with the type of huge, sweeping views foliage seekers sometimes journey north to search out. It was 6:30 p.m. once we reached Walpole — a city whose profile has been drastically elevated by the presence of the filmmaker Ken Burns. Within the common retailer, there’s an unusually high-quality array of cheeses and takeout — nice for filmmaking crews and fall foliage picnics. Simply down the highway is an ideal place to devour this stuff: Alyson’s Orchard, the place you should buy a half dozen or extra types of apples, or decide your individual and eat them within the orchard (probably with that good cheese) searching to the crimson and golden hills.
For Jordan and me, the hour was nearer to dinner than lunch, so we headed again into my onetime dwelling of Keene (I wrote my novels “The place Love Goes” and “To Die For’’ there) — often known as the city with America’s widest essential road. A few years again, the town funded a mission to color murals on the perimeters of brick buildings that includes highlights of Keene’s historical past. My favourite is the portrait of Jonathan Daniels, who grew up just a few homes from the one the place my kids and I as soon as lived. Daniels was shot in Alabama in 1965 whereas collaborating in a Civil Rights motion.
I nonetheless keep in mind the city’s Pumpkin Competition. Each Halloween the residents would be a part of forces to create a Guinness-world-record variety of carved pumpkins that volunteers would arrange with flickering candles on scaffolding all through the sq.. However my favourite half got here later — someday round midnight on Competition Night time — after I’d stroll again into city alone to soak up the sight of all these glowing jack-o’-lanterns with no person else round. No pumpkin competition this yr, due to Covid, however organizers promise it’s going to return.
It was previous 9 p.m. once we obtained again to the little cottage on a mud highway the place I spend my summers now, a home I’d be locking up in per week or two, when the nights obtained too chilly. Jordan and I had coated nearly 400 miles since we headed out that morning, and I used to be feeling the load of endings. Days getting shorter. My November birthday looming. One other yr winding down.
I seemed out on the lake on which my little New Hampshire summer season cottage sits, with its solitary loon. The crickets have been chirping, which made me take into consideration the chapter of “Charlotte’s Internet” I had simply completed studying out loud within the automotive.
“Even on essentially the most stunning days in the entire yr — the times when summer season is becoming autumn — the crickets unfold the rumor of disappointment and alter,” wrote E.B. White. “‘Summer time is over and gone,’ repeated the crickets.”
White obtained it proper. Each autumn brings a small loss of life, marked by essentially the most superb explosion of coloration, like the ultimate spherical of a fireworks present earlier than the sky goes silent. The excellent news: the seasons maintain turning. Come spring, new leaves will sprout and we’ll start the cycle once more, if luck is with us.
Joyce Maynard’s most up-to-date novel is “Depend the Methods,” the story of 1 household’s 4 many years on a New Hampshire farm.