Sunday, September 29, 2013

Ups and Downs of the Season

The official beginning of Fall happened recently (I can't remember which day exactly, since it's not like a celebrated holiday with...hoopla and whatnot...but the trusty calendar assures me it did occur). This event always inspires a big old bagful of mixed emotions in me. On the one hand, in just one week I managed to partake of pumpkin munchkins and pumpkin-flavored coffee at Dunkin' Donuts, pumpkin beer at home, and a pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks. That's a whole lotta yumminess, folks. However, this past few days we began to really notice the dusk descending earlier...and more suddenly. (Our most obvious clue might have been when Riley's soccer team was forced to chase the ball up and down the field at the end of their evening the DARK...) The decreasing daylight always has somewhat of a dampening effect on me--I tend to feel more tired and sluggish at this time of year. (Kind of like a bear preparing to hibernate...which totally explains why I want to stuff myself with food...then curl up in my cave--I mean "bed", and slumber...yeah, that's my story....)

Then again, I'm always ecstatic when the Summer stickiness goes the heck away and leaves us with a cooler, crisper out-of-doors experience. I don't mind trading my capris for long pants and my short sleeves for layers. But I do resist giving up sandals for as long as possible...and I positively postpone wearing socks until I absolutely must. (It's a delicate balance between the toes' rights to freedom and fresh air...and the protection of the sensitive digits from hypothermia, I tell ya!) Speaking of "living in between", we are also enjoying that sweet spot in the calendar when the air-conditioning is off, but the heat isn't called for quite yet. (Of course, this generally necessitates an almost nightly reappraisal of one's Personal Linen Preferences, to achieve just the right weight and material of sheets and covers...for maximum comfort without either sweating or freezing. Yeah, it can be complicated...)

Although we haven't had much color excitement from the leaf changes at this point, it definitely smells like Autumn at times. While out walking through the nearby neighborhoods, I've caught definite whiffs of smoke (as in "wood-burning stove", not a "call 911", thank goodness). Pumpkins have popped up on a few porches of late. (And more importantly, in the local nursery where the boys and I go to select ours...soon...ish...) Furthermore, the very motivated among us (or rather "them", since I'm not even on the fringes of this group) have already hung some early Halloween decorations to usher in the spooky month of October...which is right around the corner waiting to pounce. (Yikes!)

So really, this might be the golden time of the season. You have a myriad of culinary pumpkin options. The leaves still cling firmly to the trees and thus require no raking. The weather should continue on its best behavior for a while longer (crossing fingers...and unfettered toes). And...the disappearing daylight gives me an excuse to wrap up in a blanket, lounge on the couch, and watch new episodes of the shows I like...before hibernating (I mean "turning in for the night"). Hmmm, what have I missed so far...oh yeah, all I wish for now is...a pumpkin muffin!

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