Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Falling Into Fall

Oh, autumn. Finally.

Well, okay. Autumn isn't really officially here, I admit. The leaves haven't really changed yet...the weather hasn't gotten that much colder...but you know what? I say it's autumn, so it's autumn.

And since it's autumn, it's only fitting that I be sitting here on my sofa, wrapped up in a blanket, blogging, and drinking hot cocoa. (And I am.)
Photo by dtaylorcreative on Flickr

I've always thought of myself as a sort of any-season kind of person. There are good things to like about every season, I always told myself. ...Then again, I grew up in San Diego, where seasons don't exist. It wasn't until this year--the first time I have ever actually lived through all four seasons in a row--that I realized I love the colder seasons the best. Fall and winter.

Not to knock spring and summer. There are lots of things to love about spring and summer. I'm just not really a warm-weather kind of person. I'm not very outdoorsy, I don't like swimming, I don't like wearing shorts, and I really don't like heat.

What I do love is going back to warm, hearty foods like potatoes and squash. Chili and soup. I love finding ways to incorporate pumpkin into everything. Adding a generous helping of cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves to cookies, cupcakes, even brownies, anything I can think of to bake. I love just turning on the oven again!

I love wearing long sleeves, coats, and scarves. I love sitting inside and snuggling up with a good book while the weather blusters around outside. Picking up my favorite books once again. The way I see it, summer is for new reads, New York Times bestsellers, YA fiction, unknown authors--but fall is for the classics.

I love celebrating the holidays--Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Oktoberfest (yes, I celebrate Oktoberfest--by making soft pretzels and drinking root beer). Renewing my love/hate relationship with thrillers, eating buckets of candy, trying to find a suitable costume the night of Halloween so I can avoid being the party pooper. Cooking all the recipes I grew up with, smothering everything in sight with gravy, being with my family, laying around for hours in a food coma before cramming some pie into the last corner of my stomach.

I love waking up not knowing what the weather is going to bring; "When will the first snow be?" And when it finally does snow, finding the best window to watch it from, sitting right by it and pretending to do my homework. That sense of awe that I always get watching snow fall--it hasn't gone away yet.

Photo by greencandy8888 on Flickr
Autumn isn't dates on a calendar; it's what you do. And in roughly the past week, I have made an abundance of baked goods, including pumpkin muffins (there is leftover pumpkin in my freezer right now, waiting to be used), read one of my favorite books for the third or fourth time, made soup, drunk hot chocolate, watched "The Skeleton Key" (last night--still a little creeped out), and worn a jacket and tennis shoes (instead of flip-flops, which during the summer is my everyday footwear).

Obviously, it IS autumn--at least, it is for me. While the rest of you are shackling yourselves to the last remains of summer, begging it not to go (well, for your sake, I hope you're not), I'll be knee-deep in fall spirit.

See you at Oktoberfest. Bring a bottle of A&W.

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