North Idaho got an unofficial head-start on changing seasons a couple of weeks ago. As of the Autumnal equinox this past Wednesday, Fall is officially here. Isn't it great?
Disclaimer: Autumn is not my favorite season - that special designation belongs to Winter. But Fall makes a strong showing in second place. In honor of the first few days of the new season, here are four things I love about Fall (plus one thing I don't).
1. Warm days, cool nights. It was 39° when I woke up yesterday morning, but by mid afternoon it was 79°. This is the season of layers. Fleece jackets and peacoats in the morning, t-shirts and sandals during the day. Sleeping with the windows open so the chilly overnight temperatures can naturally regulate indoor climates. Evening walks are better this time of the year with crisp air and clear skies. Winds feel more refreshing. And everyone is ready to be done with the long hot summer.
2. The foliage. This is the season the leaves turn, bursting with vivid hues as if they had been set aflame by sunlight. I love the colorful display. I love the sound of fallen leaves crunching underfoot. I love the giddiness of tromping through a big pile of raked up oak and maple leaves - scattering them around (apologies to my landscapers) with a couple joyous kicks. Strangely, I love the smell leaves emit as they crumble and decompose. There is also a calming, nearly hypnotic effect watching a single leaf float to the ground while fighting the pull of gravity.
3. Anticipation. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, but so does anticipation. Autumn is brimming with it. Anticipation of the first frost. Anticipation of the first flakes of snow. Anticipation of seeing your kids and their friends in their Halloween costumes. Anticipation of Halloween candy and baked holiday goodies. Anticipation of Thanksgiving and the start of the Advent season.
4. Warm drinks and scary movies. I feel silly drinking hot coffee during the summer so I order my mochas and breves iced. Once the cooler weather of Fall arrives, warm drinks are again acceptable - if not mandatory. Hot chocolate, cider, coffee, espresso. This is also the season I return to horror classics: The Exorcist, The Ring, Donnie Darko, The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Curling up on the couch with one of those movies and a mug of hot cocoa spiked with a shot of Irish cream is my idea of bliss.
That's a lot to love. But there is one thing I could do without.
1. Pumpkin spiced everything. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice dip, spiced pumpkin bread, pumpkin spiced ginger cookies, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin spiced candles, pumpkin spiced lip gloss, pumpkin spiced lotion, pumpkin spiced Oreos, pumpkin spiced beers, pumpkin spice sausage, pumpkin spiced tires. Someone somewhere is the Bubba Blue of pumpkin spice. Seriously, we have jumped the shark with with this one.