Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Falling for Autumn

Although my calendar says autumn doesn't officially start until the end of this week - Fall is most definitely in the air.  No tiptoeing in for this season.  Nope.  She seems to have slid in sideways, all "Risky Business" style.  And she was pulling all her accessories along with her.  No complaining from this corner.  I - for one- couldn't be happier! 

The air is cooler.  Those happy 60-something and 70-something degree days are back.  No air conditioners or heaters needed.  Just comfortable days with the windows thrown wide open to catch the breezes and fresh air. Oh sure, I know well enough that at some point summer is going to make one last stand and toss us a few more 80-ish degree days.  But those days are numbered and will soon be a thing of the past.   

The leaves are starting to change colors.  The yellows and reds are peeking out from between the green.  They are taking a foothold and getting prepared to go into full display in a few short weeks.  It won't be too much longer, and the mountains will be cloaked in a colorful blanket of gold, orange, and red.

That combination of beautiful scenery and cooler weather makes the perfect combination for hiking.  I love getting out and enjoying the beauty of my little corner of the world.

I've pulled out my mental recipe book chapter on soups, chili, and gumbo.  The crock pot is standing at the ready for the next yummy comfort food to be prepared.  Especially on chilly Sunday afternoons while we relax on the couch watching football games.  Nothing warms the belly like a bowl full of homemade chili.  Or a fresh veggie soup with a grilled cheese sandwich along side.

Ahh... football.  This is the time when I feel obligated to take an indulgent moment to brag that my fantasy team is doing better than my real life team, the Carolina Panthers.  The Panthers are off to a disappointing 0-2, despite the promising performances of their rookie QB.  Under my outstanding coaching skills - my fantasy team is 1-1. But I digress...

The autumn sky takes on that particular shade of Carolina blue.  You know that shade of blue?  The one that the sky only seems capable of showing during the fall season?  It's a little brighter, a little clearer, a little crisper than any other time of year.

The days are noticeably getting shorter.  A few weeks ago it was light until 9 or later.  Now, the sun has set by 8.  The girls have taken to going to bed earlier and earlier.  They somehow seemed to know the days were getting shorter even before we recognized it.

The Halloween decorations are out in full force at the stores, and will soon appear in front yards everywhere.  Ghosts, skeletons, and headstones mixed in amongst the pumpkins and cornstalks.  Oh.. and the Halloween candy!  Was there ever a more perfect confection created than that little miracle - the Reese's pumpkin?  Possibly, but doubtful.

We get to put away all those skin revealing clothes we tolerated for comforts sake during the sweltering days of summer.  In their place are the comfy sweats, our favorite jeans, and cozy sweaters.  At night, it's my favorite fluffy bathrobe.

So enjoy these days.  The coolness, the crisp air.  The comfort foods and the comfort clothes.  Cuddle up with someone and sip some fresh cider.  Or a beer while you watch a football game.  Go for a walk and crunch some leaves under your feet.  Savor every second.  Before you know it, we'll be in the grasp of Old Man Winter.  But that is a whole different tale, for another time. 

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