Oh, those fall feelings… Growing up, I hated Fall, with a passion. Really. Worst. Season. Ever.
Anyone else share my childhood repulsion of those times when the weather turned cold, pools closed for the season and then there was that dreaded first day back to school? Yet, as the calendar pages have flipped many times over, a switch in me has also flipped, and I’ve changed my ways. I now appreciate all the noteworthy seasonal nuances that Fall has to offer.
But why did I despise Fall in the first place, these amazing fall activities have always been there. Maybe I was stubborn and just didn’t like it because my Mom did. Who knows.
Maybe a little time, an appreciation for traditions, and the love of family have made me change my mind and enjoy fall.
My Inner Foodie
There has always been a mental need to shout from the highest rooftops that I possess a deep disgust for cooking. However, my inner foodie has emerged and just last week I headed to the nearest fruit stand for a gigantic box of honey crisp apples. Next, I’m going to take the family out to an orchard where we can spend half a day making new memories and picking our own.
But that’s just the beginning, the smells of apple cider simmering on the stove and mini apple pies baking in the oven are enough to send everyone in my family into a tizzy. Heck, I may even go for broke and drown a few of them in caramel, now that brings up some fond childhood memories.
It doesn’t stop at apples. Tis’ the season of pumpkin spice lattes, but also a new family favorite is pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. I have the easiest recipe ever! One can of pumpkin and one box of spice cake mix, voila, sprinkle in a few chocolate chips and well, I’m tickled orange! Of course, let’s not ignore the old tradition of pumpkin pie, and the new tradition of pumpkin pancakes with warm maple syrup.
The other great things about those pumpkins? Inexpensive fall decor for both inside and out. There is something inviting about a house with a beautiful fall display. Pumpkins, corn stalks, and some rainbow colored flint corn. Fall has also become my favorite seasons for smells. To keep that fall aroma going, I love burning candles in all those mixed scents of pumpkin, nutmeg, apples, and cinnamon.
Back to School
Sure, as a kid the end of summer could be a little depressing but now I view it as a clean slate. It may not only be back to school for the younger kids but a fresh start for new college freshmen. Heck, these days it may even be back to school for Dad or Mom. There may be a few students (and teachers for that matter) that don’t agree with this whole school’s in session again business, but the smell of a brand new box of crayons and the sounds of the big yellow buses rolling around the corner can be simply satisfying.
The one thing that does carry over from childhood that I loved was back to school shopping! There are fond memories of my grandma and mom taking me shopping for those new clothes I couldn’t wait to wear on that first day of school. Fall also means digging out those fluffy socks, our favorite boots, and that over-sized sweatshirt we threw in the back of the closet last spring. Even better? Scarves and that best-loved warm sweater or corduroy pants with our new favorite plaid flannel. The comfiness factor of our clothes heavily increases during Fall.
There is this never-ending supply of things to occupy your free time. I used to think baseball was the most boring sport ever, then my son started playing. Again, changed my tune, I’m currently counting the days until the World Series.
For most Fall means football! And with football comes all day tailgating and parties involving our favorite hors-d’oeuvres. C’mon, let’s pull out our favorite recipes for queso dip and pigs in a blanket. While I personally can tell you nothing about the sport of football, I can tell you I will get out my favorite boots, pick up a pumpkin spice latte and head down to the park to watch my young cousins play.
That whole pumpkins for decor thing I mentioned earlier, the best place to pick those up? On a trip to your favorite corn maize with the family. Get lost in the towering stalks that have been cut out into intricate designs. Our local favorite offers hayrides, pig races, kettle corn, hot chocolate, and about a hundred other activities.
After a day of traipsing through rows of corn or picking fruit I’m ready to cozy up in front of the fire and watch a little TV. All my favorite shows are back giving me the answers to those spring cliffhangers that left me bewildered. Please tell me are Penny and Leonard finally getting married? Also, who doesn’t want to curl up under their favorite quilt or fuzzy blanket and watch hours of their favorite seasonal movies? Hocus Pocus is probably playing on at least five channels. Me, yep those childhood memories are calling again, I’m going to watch It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. Who’s with me?
Halloween, when we can all let out our inner “weird” while we dress up and let our imaginations go wild. Although as a kid my mother made my brother and I clown costumes while I can appreciate the hard work she put into them now, I think that contributed to my bad memories of fall. I had to wear that darn costume four years in a row and clowns still creep me out.
But oh, the colossal bowls of candy and giant fake spiders. I can’t wait for all the little goblins, ghouls, whatever Marvel Superhero the boys will be dressed up as, and at least fifty different versions of Elsa, to ring my doorbell.
When Thanksgiving rolls around we are ready for a full morning, cinnamon rolls while watching the Macy’s Parade followed closely by enough tryptophan to put us into a turkey coma on the couch, well at least until it’s time for pie. For my family, the rest of the day is spent gathered around the kitchen table yelling over a rowdy game of cards while Grandpa sneaks away to check the football scores.
But still there are so many other random things that have turned Fall into that all-time MVP of seasons.
That swampy season is over. Ladies, we can arrive at our destination without our makeup drizzling down our faces and sweat dripping from all the places it shouldn’t. The humidity might finally be dying down and my hair might settle down and look normal.
How about Oktoberfest where we can dust off the lederhosen and drink beer. Lots of beer. I know some writer peeps out there that look forward to NanoWriMo and daily updates about how many words all the participants wrote today. Plus let’s not leave out No Shave November, put those razors away!
So for me Fall has become the season that’s all about family and creating memories. I have a new appreciation for the majestic look of the trees as the colors of summer fade away while the brilliant technicolor shades of orange and red appear.
Now excuse me while I go find the nearest pile to jump in.