Like much of the US, Bulgaria is a place of four seasons. Unless I unexpectedly return home early or extend my stay, I’ll be in Bulgaria for eight full seasons and parts of two others. It’s difficult to believe, but two of those seasons have already come and gone. We arrived just in time to see spring (пролет) usher in summer (лято), and summer has now given way to fall (есен).
Having roots in Wisconsin, early fall conjures up images of crisp air, colorful leaves, apple orchards, migratory birds heading south, and, of course, football. As the days grow shorter, folks reluctantly bring in their docks and store their boats for the winter. Lawnmowers are replaced by snowblowers. And the sights and sounds of children playing outside until dark become but a memory. For many families, summer is largely a time of leisure, and fall offers one last chance to play in the sun.
Conversely, summer is the busy season in Bulgaria. Gardens are tended to and cellars are stocked. And fall in Bulgaria means not a final chance to play in the fading summer sun, but rather a final opportunity to prepare for winter (зима). More fruits and vegetables are jarred, and charcoal is delivered, chopped, and stored. As in the states, the air becomes crisp, birds head south, and it’s apple-picking time. Soon, I hope, the leaves will begin changing. But there will be no football, at least there won’t be any Американски футьол (American football). Still, this is a great time to be in Bulgaria.
This has become an increasingly common sight in my town. Large piles of charcoal are being delivered in anticipation of winter.
We have three different apple trees in our yard. I have been picking an apple or two every day after school. It almost makes up for the lack of football.
I have no idea what varieties of apples we have, but the big red ones are tart yet sweet, very crisp, and very juicy. Almost like a honeycrisp. I'll just call them Bulgarian Delicious.