Yesterday, while enjoying the mild sunny day on the back deck, I realized – as a shower of leaves fell around me – that fall is actually here. Fall is, without a doubt, my most favorite time of year. The crisp air begins to enter into our daily lives, the intense heat of the summer becomes a figment of our past, and I can smell the change of seasons in the air.
And no, it’s not just the pumpkin spice explosion that happens as soon as the calendar rolls over to September.
In no particular order, here are my 10 things I love about Autumn:
- Warm days and cool nights. Here in California, our swing in temperature isn’t nearly as drastic as some other places, but it is not uncommon to be able to experience outdoor activities well into October – including swimming! Then bundle up after that fun day and enjoy a campfire in the fire pit out back. The daily temperatures are less likely to reach into the triple digits, and a warm day is what we get (yay, mid to low 80s!).
- Speaking of those cooler nights, I get so excited about putting my quilt or duvet cover with a comforter on my bed. I just love the weight it adds, but in the summer, that’s a recipe for drowning in your own sweat. I count the days until I can add soft flannel sheets and a heavy blanket to my bed. I’m a little crazy about my bedding.
- Harvest festivals and locations just for the season. I just love all things “cheesy Fall” such as pumpkin patches, corn mazes, and places where you can bob for apples. Up here in Northern California, we have such places that I look forward to every year. If you go to elementary school around here, it is almost guaranteed that in kindergarten or 1st grade, you class took a trip to Bishop’s Pumpkin Patch. Here, you can enjoy the farm animals (and petting zoo), sunflower maze, endless slides and ziplines, train ride, and of course, a hayride out to the pumpkin patch to pick the best pumpkin around. For an even bigger adventure, you can head up to Apple Hill, a famous place in the Sierras known for — what else?? Apples. And wine. And Christmas trees. Apple hill is the best of ALL worlds if you ask me. There are plenty of U-pick farms as well as adorable crafts, homemade apple treats, a fishing pond for kids, and endless farms to visit and tour. Apple hill is a tradition in many families, and it’s not unusual for local photographers to set up family photo sessions with the gorgeous scenery in the background. Don’t forget to pick up an apple pie!
- Crockpot cooking. I know. I use it year round. This is true, but there are some meals that just SCREAM Autumn to me. Pot roasts, soups, stews, warm breads. Comfort food is my thing, and the crockpot makes that possible.
- Fall decor. Inside the house, I start adding hints of Autumn whenever I can. Right now, we are remodeling, so adding to the chaos is not in my best interest, however, I throw it in wherever I can – including the addition of mums on the front porch!
- The Fall colors. This is a no-brainer. Of course, I can only dream of them, as California has only green for Spring, dusty for Summer, and dead brown for Fall. But I can appreciate them when I do see them! Occasionally someone will have a Birch or Aspen tree planted in their yard, and it’s all I can do to keep from staring at it all day. I may be exaggerating just a titch, but if we are being honest, I know that California can not, and SHOULD not even attempt to compete with the East Coast and their fall colors. Someday I’ll get there and see them in their glory.
- Candles. Confession time: I burn candles year round. However, I get in much less trouble with Mr. Wanderstead Husband when I burn them in the fall and winter. It’s kind of silly to have a flame burning when the A/C is running full tilt and it’s 108 outside. I have a whole collection of favorites that I burn depending on the season. I rarely burn only one scent, and I love to use my candles as a light source. I even have started a collection of old-fashioned oil lanterns. I much prefer the warm glow of candles to that of traditional lighting, and whenever possible, I will light as many as I can.
- Layers, boots, & sweaters. I LOVE boots. I LOVE scarves. I LOVE warm hats. And I super love cozy sweaters. In the beginning of fall, I often get a bit too excited and overdress, finding myself sweaty and sticky by the end of the day. It’s hard to gauge the temperature when it LOOKS like fall outside, but the afternoon high is set to be 85. One of my favorite places to get luxurious homemade scarves and wraps is For the Wool of It.
- RAIN. I absolutely love the rain. Rain means that we can light fires, sit on the couch all cozy, and watch movies. I just adore this time of year. I love the clean, cool smell of rain. I love the sound of it hitting our metal roof at night. I love to sit in our living room gazing out the extra large windows and watching it pouring down.
- Family. There is something inherently “family” about the fall, moving into the winter. Obviously, some of the biggest holidays of the year are in that short time frame, but it seems that this time of year, people go out of their way to get together with family, friends, and loved ones. Many use it as their traditional annual get together, and our family like so many others falls into that as well. I see family in small doses throughout the year, but fall and winter are when you can almost guarantee that a get-together will happen. And I love that.
What about you? What do you love about fall? What is your favorite season and why? Let’s hear your thoughts!