Autumn is far and away my favorite season. I love everything about it: the cool crisp days, the chilly nights which demand extra layers, the changing of the leaves, pumkin-spice lattes, apple pie, Halloween, the return of the MLB post-season, the start of the pro football season… its just a magnificent time of year. No other season appeals to me half as much as the three or so months between the end of hot, humid August and those first snowy days in December.
This year, summer does not seem eager to relinquish her grasp… even on those of us here in Northern New England. Sure, we’ve had a couple of chilly evenings, but nothing cool enough to require an extra blanket on the bed, or come anywhere close to killing off those lingering mosquitos. And my (frequent) inspections of the 10 day forecast on weather.com suggest that an alarming number of warm days and humid nights may still lie ahead of us.
(Of course, many will argue that its not officially Autumn for another couple of weeks. True as that is, there’s a not-so-reasonable part of me that—once the calendar changes from August to September—regards any day warmer than 72 and any night warmer than 49 as completely unacceptable.)
For me, this already much-too-brief season is made all the more fleeting by the fact that I’m spending a few weeks each month in Central Texas, a place where Autumn exists in name only. The average temperatures won’t arrive at something truly “fall-like” until December or January. And while Texas has its share of great scenery, there’s nothing there to rival the abundant and colorful foliage of New England.
So, with the days already ticking by quickly (we are already into the second week of September — yeesh!), I’ve decided to try something new.. This year, as if I were some kind of meteorological warlock, I’m attempting to summon Autumn.
How does one summon a season, you ask? My strategy is essentially this: if I behave as though it were Autumn—that is to say, eat Autumn foods, drink Autumn drinks, dress in my Autumn clothes—perhaps Mother Nature and Father Time will get the picture and drop this ridiculous charade of summer.
To that end, I’ve been carrying on for the last week or so like its mid-October. That has meant savoring an early-season apple pie (from Two Fat Cats Bakery, naturally), guzzling those pumpkin spice lattes and living my life by scented candle-light each evening (I’m single-handedly keeping Yankee Candle in business with a steady rotation of Spiced Pumpkin, Pumpkin Buttercream and Apple Pumpkin). Even a few Halloween decorations have made their way out onto the shelves and walls of my living room and home office.
To keep myself entertained, I’ve turned to Netflix, which has provided me with a steady supply of Universal Monsters and cozy mysteries. And in the book department, I’ve loaded up on horror fiction (Joe Hill’s tremendous “Horns,” followed-up by Marisha Pessl’s impossibly creepy “Night Film”). I’ve even been able to take in a few matinees at the now more-or-less empty movie theaters, thanks to the exodus of tourists and the post Labor Day return to school for the area children.
Of course, the leaves have yet to begin to turn color… but I am keeping a close watch on the trees in my neighborhood. It will be any day now. And while I cannot control the weather with my mind (I’ve tried), I can control the climate within my home, thanks to the miracle of air conditioning. Of course, using the A/C to mimic a chilly fall day (just so that I can pop into my favorite shawl cardigan) isn’t doing wonders for the electric bill, but it keeps me happy and content… and before long, I’ll be relishing the real thing.