Fall leaves

Smack into Fall

This morning when the alarm rang, my bedroom was dark. Pitch dark. I got up before the sun bothered to rise. It’s not because my wake-up time changed, it’s because autumn arrived.

According to the calendar, it’s the correct time for the fall season. After all, as George R. R. Martin points out in Game of Thrones, winter is coming. The number of daylight hours are supposed to decline as the northern hemisphere spins into its winter solstice. Yet I feel as if I blinked, and summer ended.

Our late August cruise to Alaska might have skewered my timeline. (I will share more about that adventure in the future. You’ve been warned!) When returning from an earlier summer vacation, bonus sunny hours remain for barbecues, twilight walks, or a glass of wine and a lingering sunset. The other evening the street lights came on at 7:30 pm! I needed a jacket and hot cider.

Fall is usually my favorite time of year. I love the brightly colored leaves, plump pumpkins, crisp, cool temperatures, and tricky cornfield mazes. This year I feel rushed. I’m not ready. Can it already be time for football, Oktoberfest, and apple picking? Where did the summer go?

My children have grown, so I can no longer count on the back-to-school bustle to launch me into the season. I don’t buy classroom supplies, help choose picture-day outfits, or add sports and music practices to my schedule. Halloween costumes aren’t needed, and no trick-or-treaters ring the condo doorbell. Without young children around, fall has lost some of its luster. There’s not as much to distract me when summer fades away. If only it would last a little longer.

But I’ve noticed that autumn isn’t waiting for me. The baseball season is winding down and heading into the play-offs. (Once again, the Seattle Mariners will NOT appear. I hope to cheer on the Milwaukee Brewers.) Election ads and new (rebooted?) shows dominate the airwaves. The stores are full of Halloween candy and pumpkin spice everything. Whether I’m ready or not, fall is here.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not crying gloom and doom. The mornings may be dark, but the evenings are cozy. The leaves outside my window are changing from green into a deep, vibrant red. So, despite my desire to hibernate, I’ll tackle those fall chores. It’s time to put away the electric fan and find some extra blankets, pack up my sleeveless shirts and dig out my sweaters. (Hmm…I could enjoy a caramel apple.) I’ll even pull out those writing projects I put on hold during those hot and lazy summer days.

Welcome autumn!

What’s your favorite fall activity? Share in the comments.

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