Around this time each year I allow myself to start really pining for fall. Here in the Midwest fall doesn’t really set in until early to mid October, so even though the start of September seems like it should bring a change of seasons, I actually have another month of patient waiting to endure before we can finally close the door on summer. Nevertheless, we’re in the home stretch and it only seems fair that I reward myself with the daydreams of fall that I’ve denied myself these past many weeks.
With that, here is a little account of some of my favorite things about fall.
- Pumpkin and butternut squash are everywhere. They’re inside raviolis and risottos on restaurant menus. They’re in ice creams and lattes. They’re roasted as side dishes and whipped into purees with cream and butter. Mmmm.
- The color brown. I’m all for jewel tones year round, but in the fall I love wearing clothes in shades of brown. Everything feels warmer and cozier (specifically sweaters) when it’s brown.
- Marshmallows. I have a sort of embarrassing habit. In the fall and winter I have a penchant for roasted marshmallows. I stick a couple of big ones on a fork and roast them over the gas burner of the stove. They’re really good in hot chocolate, but sometimes I just eat them plain.
- Football season. I don’t even like football. I can sort of follow a game, but what I know about the sport is vastly outweighed by what I don’t know. Even so, I love the ambiance of a football game. I love being curled up in our basement in jeans and a sweatshirt watching IEP practice hiking the ball and listening the GAP hail the glories and woes of his fantasy team with each game.
- Baseball playoffs. Baseball is my sport. I haven’t followed the regular season much this year, partly because my team is in the toilet and partly because pregnancy has greatly diminished my capacity to focus on much of anything. But I always love the postseason. I love seeing fans bundled up in coats and earmuffs. And I love keeping track of each series and who is winning.
- Bundling up. Jeans, sweatshirts, and thick socks. I love seeing my breath when I walk the dogs each morning. I love the way IEP looks in his ear-flap hat. And I love the feel of cozy clothes that are well broken in.
- Chili. I’m a fan of most chilis, but I’m especially a fan of my own chicken chili. It’s a recipe I made up out of thin air years ago and I’ve tweaked and perfected it over time. Last winter it reached new heights of deliciousness, and I can’t wait to dust off the recipe this year.
- Raking leaves. Actually, it’s not so much raking leaves that I love (because I don’t). It’s really watching IEP jump into piles of leaves and laugh at himself. There’s just nothing about it that ever gets old.
- Prancing dogs. Our poor dogs are not cut out for summers like this. Anything over 80 degrees is really unpleasant for them. Over 90 is dangerous. And over 100 is sheer torture. They were made for winter and I love seeing their animated spirits bounce back as soon as the morning air brings its first chill.
- Wine. This really has nothing to do with fall itself. It’s just that for me this year fall means I can enjoy a glass of red wine again, and I’m very much looking forward to that.
Now I just have to wait until all my little dreams come true. The great thing about these dreams, though, is that I know they all will come true. Perhaps not as quickly as I’d like, but in due time.