It was cold in the house when I woke up this morning. Not the cold of winter, where the ice seems to leech straight into your bones, but the crisp chill of autumn. It was what I think of as the “good” cold – bracing and invigorating, but easily tamed by the donning of a pair of fuzzy socks or a fleecy sweatshirt.
I realize not everyone shares my love of this season. Some people observe the burnt reds and golden yellows that paint the landscape, but fail to enjoy their beauty – they see them only as the first sign of the long winter to come. While I admit that the cold and snowy winters can take their toll, I can’t think about that right now. To me, the fall season is too glorious to allow its beauty to be undermined by the expectation of the harsher days to come.
I love the abundance of fall. Farms and orchards are brimming with bountiful harvests: apples, pears, pumpkins and more. Harvest festivals pop up in small towns and in rural venues. Mums and bright orange pumpkins seem to appear on every front porch. A quick trip to run errands brings a visual feast of changing leaves and neatly trimmed hay fields. Cold nights might mean waking up to chilled toes or frosty windows, but it doesn’t last long. There is still a lot of sunshine to be had during the day, despite the slowly dropping temperatures.
It’s true I can’t go swimming anymore, and I’ve had to reluctantly tuck away my tank tops and shorts to make room for long sleeves and denim jeans. But it seems a small price to pay for Friday night football, and crisp autumn evenings spent around a bonfire making smores and drinking hot cider.
I have often said that you know fall has arrived when the menu changes. The grill is used less and less as old fashioned comfort foods make their way to the table – homemade macaroni and cheese, chicken soup, and plain old meatloaf. Afterwards, a cup of hot coffee is the perfect compliment to a slice of freshly baked apple pie.
Fall’s festivities are among my favorites. I’ve loved Halloween since I was a child – not so much for the spooky and scary aspects or even the candy (except the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups – those are essential), but for the opportunity to spend a night pretending to be someone I’m not. My very favorite, however, is Thanksgiving. Family, laughter, good food, and lots of love – how can a day get any better than that?
There is no way to fight it – change is in the air. It’s in the piles of leaves growing on every lawn, in the slowly shortening days, and in the thin sheen of frost that covers my car’s windshield each morning. And if you ask me, change is good!