Gearing up for fall

I LOVE FALL. Don’t you? I love many, many things about fall: cool, crisp air, getting to wear jeans again and not having to shave my legs, the colors, the food—all of it! Except the corn. I live in the cornfield and the cornfield is not my friend. The corn dries on its stalks and then it’s harvested, or essentially mulched into little tiny bits of corn dust. The corn dust floats into my nose and I sneeze for like three months. But it’s nothing a little Benadryl can’t fix. And the kids love watching the corn harvester thing (or combine, Chris tells me) as it does its efficient work across the fields.

Here is a list of reasons I’m pretty sure it’s fall:

  1. September
  2. PSL is back at Starbucks (if you don’t know what that stands for we might not be able to be friends anymore)
  3. Butternut squash soup is back at all the bread restaurants (Panera Bread, Atlanta Bread, etc.)
  4. The high today is 74 degrees
  5. The leaves are changing
  6. The air is crisping
  7. I’ve smelled the scent of burning wood—just a few times, but still, fires in fireplaces!
  8. Pumpkins are out at the grocery store
  9. Mums are out on people’s porches (and we have one that we planted in our garden last year that came back!)
  10. School is back in session

And here is a list of reasons I’m not sure it’s fall yet:

  1. The official start of fall isn’t until September 23rd
  2. I haven’t had a PSL yet
  3. It was 90 degrees last week
  4. Most of the leaves on the trees around our house are still green
  5. My children still beg to go to the pool almost every day

But I’m ready to embrace fall. One of my favorite fall memories is from my sophomore year of college, when my friend and I were taking organic chemistry. The lecture was at 8am on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. We never went. Instead, we would go to class, sneak out after five minutes (when we realized the professor really was just reading directly from the packet of notes he handed out at the beginning of the semester), and walk to the Panera a couple of blocks from the quad. We’d sit outside and sip lattes out of oversized mugs and eat bagels smeared with cream cheese and watch the world go by. Sometimes we’d talk, sometimes not, but those mornings sitting in the sun with the cool fall breeze on our backs and the leaves swirling around us, are ones I’ll always remember. (Also, we ended up dropping o-chem halfway through the semester and I took it the following year. I went to class but I think I still only got a C. Not my best subject.)

I have a few things on my fall bucket list: the apple orchard, the pumpkin patch, trick-or-treating, making chili on Halloween (a tradition my college roommate introduced me to, which I still love). We might not carve jack-o-lanterns this year. I might not make the kids’ costumes. I want to remember to relax this season, and try to embrace both the chores and the fun stuff the cooler weather brings. Because fall only comes once a year, and I want to savor every second.