Rites of fall


Last Saturday, we had our first rain in I don’t know how long.  Though it did mess up our outdoors plans, I can’t say I was entirely sorry.  More than anything else, it reminded me that summer is over.

Just like that, it feels like fall around here.

Do I have  a favorite season?  Not really.   From my perspective, the charm of the seasons is that every time a new one rolls around, I’m ready for it. But I can’t deny that fall holds a great deal of delight for me.

Why, exactly?

*I love the changing leaves.   Granted, our NoCal foliage makes a pretty poor showing compared to the trees who live in colder climes, but we do still get yellow, red, orange, brown.  Some neighborhoods — especially those with a lot of liquid amber or Chinese pistache trees –are particularly pretty.

*Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Pancakes, which one cannot buy year-round.  They’re back, baby … and I’m celebrating.

*Halloween with my kids.  Honestly, I think Halloween has gotten way too commercial over the last several years, but the actual experience of squiring my kids around the neighborhood on Halloween eve is pretty magical.  You have to be very, very jaded not to catch their enthusiasm.  And it brings back memories of my own childhood Halloweens, giving me the comforting sense that some things in life really don’t change.

*Pumpkin seeds toasted in the oven.  Scott throws in some Worcestershire sauce, and oh, they are delish.  It’s worth the mess of eviscerating the pumpkin just to taste that salty brown crunch again.

*All Saints’ Day.  When I was a kid in Catholic school, ASD rocked because it meant we always had the day after Halloween as a school holiday.  Now, I love it because I love thinking of the saints.  They show us that there are a zillion different ways to live a life of purpose, and that holiness never looks exactly the same from one person to the next.

*Thanksgiving.  It’s an underrated holiday, and one that never seems to change much over the years.  My mom always makes the best rye-bread stuffing, she always serves mashed turnips (and I always take the tiniest possible taste for tradition’s sake), and there is always pumpkin pie and some sort of leaf-y centerpiece.  It’s the holiday that seems caught in a time warp somehow, and I am such a nostalgic creature that I really, really like that.

What about you?  What do you love about fall?

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