I love fall. I love it so much that I would go on Oprah and jump up and down on her couch and scream about how much I love it.
And yes, I love pumpkin spice lattes and boots and scarves and leggings. SO SUE ME.
I love this precious, meteorological sweet spot nestled right in between the sweltering humidity of summer and the bitter-ass cold of winter.
And I love apple-picking. Like, a LOT. I would dare call myself an apple-picking enthusiast. If TLC ever created a show called “Extreme Apple-Picking”, I would be on it for sure. I am currently scheduling the entire month of October around a trip home in order to experience an upstate New York apple-picking excursion. Because apparently, it is not a thing downstate. I recently had to explain what a cider doughnut was to some of my coworkers. BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T KNOW. There is seriously nothing I love more in this world than spending a cool-yet-sunny fall day climbing apple-trees, frolicking through pumpkin patches, drooling over freshly baked pies, and eating nothing but still hot-from-the-oven cider doughnuts and apples that I just plucked from a freaking tree.
But I think the real reason I am so fond of this glorious season is its strong association with some of my happiest childhood memories. I think of my mom, mostly. Because my mom and I have always had this shared love of fall. And throughout my entire childhood, she did nothing but saturate every single fall with all this happy stuff that caused me to look forward to it every year.
When fall rolls around, I can’t help but be reminded of the day when my mom took me to a pumpkin patch while waiting for my sister who was in nursery school, resulting in a now classic photo of two year-old me perched among a sea of massive pumpkins.
I think of carving pumpkins in the kitchen and being too squeamish to touch the innards and roasting the seeds in the oven afterwards.
I think of my mom spending weeks sewing Halloween costumes for me and my sister every year. When I was 5, she went so far as to create the most accurate replica of Esmerelda’s costume from The Hunchback of Notre Dame (I don’t know where my obsession with her came from, and it was short-lived, but I also remember opening my closet the summer before Kindergarten to stare wistfully up at my Esmerelda backpack that was hanging there, counting down the days until I could wear it to school). And when I say “the most accurate”, I mean THE MOST ACCURATE. Right down to the turquoise waistband with the gold stripey detail and silky purple sash around the waist.
I think of the house filling with the smell of the fresh pumpkin muffins that my mom baked every year without fail (and still does).
I think of her raking piles of leaves for me and my sister to jump into, which we thought was literally the greatest thing ever. And looking back, was actually pretty gross. Like, God knows what was on those leaves. But I digress.
I think of the year that we decided to have my birthday party be Halloween-themed, and my mom came up with a Halloween scavenger hunt for me and my friends. We ran all around the house and the backyard on a chilly October night dressed as witches and fairies, collecting clues and laughing our heads off.
There’s just something about fall, man. And regardless of whether it was a big part of your childhood or not, there’s just so much opportunity for happiness. And treats. (Which to me, is synonymous with happiness.) So the next time you’re scrolling through your Instagram feed and find yourself growing enraged at yet another photo of someone’s pumpkin spice latte, go outside, sniff that crisp fall air, and enjoy this brief period of bliss before that relentless bitch named Winter slaps us all in the face.