At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I love autumn. If you've spoken to me for more than five seconds, you know this. If my calves weren't the size of one of the finger lakes, I'd be sporting a new caramel colored pair of boots every single day from September 1 to Thanksgiving. I love pumpkin spice everything (mostly), cool, crisp weather, apple cider, carnies, football, candy apples, and snuggling under a Scotch plaid wool blanket by the fire, If I'm being totally honest, the thought of being curled up in my favorite chair with some leggings, fuzzy socks, a cardigan, and cradling a cup of hot chocolate on a cold, rainy day in November is enough to elicit a full on Autumnal orgasm.
Fall girls are everywhere, and we travel in packs. We're at every Starbucks, giggling amongst our friends with our pumpkin-spice lattes and a brand new Norah Jones CD in our brown leather bucket bag. We're at your local church-run pumpkin patch with our kids, dressed up in their Baby Gap gear and being forced to smile for photo after photo, while hubby, still in his suit from work, holds the video camera, the heavy camera bag causing permanent nerve damage to his shoulder (yes, that was us in the late 90s). We're at Target while the kids are at school, because we just don't have quite enough fall scarves, table runners, candles, and kitchen towels. That's also the best time to do our early Christmas shopping, which is code for "I'm going to justify buying this Tiffany blue Kitchen-Aid mixer because I'll need it for all the Christmas baking I'm going to do."
But here's the thing. I loved fall before it was the hip thing to love fall. As far back as I can remember, it was my favorite time of year, even more so than Christmas! I went absolutely nuts when those dogwood leaves changed colors and fell to the ground, and would actually rake the yard OF MY OWN FREE WILL just so I could roll around in the leaves. It didn't even matter to me that I would very likely end up with some dog poop on me somewhere. I mean, this was the 70s, before people yelled at you if you didn't pick up your dog's waste in your own damn yard. I would go to my best friend Kathryn's house down the street and drag her and her sister into their back yard so I could roll around in THEIR leaves and force them to sing "Stirring My Brew" over and over again, ad nauseum. (Now that I think of it, that might be why they moved.) Don't even get me started on the back to school issue of Seventeen magazine. It was a pre-teen girl's version of finding a Playboy magazine in your parents' room.
Back then, decorating for fall wasn't the popular money maker that it is now, but I sure as Hell tried. The sight of a pair of Fiskar scissors, a bottle of Elmer's glue, and some yellow, orange, brown, and red construction paper is still enough to send a shiver down my degenerative spine. Unfortunately, I was never the artistic type, so my maple leaves and pumpkins were always more than a little bit misshapen. My grandmother used to paint when I was little, and my favorite painting of hers is of a little white chapel in the middle of an Autumn forest. To this day it is one of my most prized possessions.
I definitely passed my love of Fall on to my children, and even my daughter has a gorgeous head of hair that is the color of a perfect late afternoon Autumn sun. Now that I'm on my own again, I'm older, and the stresses of the world pull my focus every day, I rely on all those wonderful memories of my childhood spent climbing Dogwood trees and being surrounded by leaves of brilliant reds, yellows, and oranges to help me hold on to that pure happiness that Autumn brings.
"Stirring and stirring and stirring my brew...OoooOoo...OoooOoo
Stirring and stirring and stirring my brew...OoooOoo...OoooOoo
Tip. Toe. Tip. Toe. Tip. Toe............BOO!!!!"