Falling for autumn charm

mums and pumpkin

“Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.”

— Unknown

I, like many, am a big fan of fall. Autumn is my favorite season. I prefer crisp but not frigid temperatures. I do like hot weather, but not too hot, unless I’m on a boat or water and then 85 degrees is acceptable — but only then.

I cherish the glorious colors. I am a big fan of cozy. A cool day with something delicious simmering on the stovetop or baking, and I’m curled up on the sofa with snuggly dogs and my best guy? Don’t threaten me with a good time!

I love fall, but if you aren’t cautious, enjoying autumn can become a full-time job if not an outright chore.

I love pulling out some pumpkins as much as the next gal. That said, I would rather be run over by a hay ride wagon wheel than traipse around a pumpkin patch for too long. There are only so many miles I’m willing to trek for a gourd.

The realistic autumn to-do list will include — but not be limited to — taking yourself, children and/or pets to a pumpkin patch for cute fall photos. You will choose seasonal flannels or sweaters for ambiance. On that day, it will inexplicably be 80 degrees. Everyone will be sweaty. Children will cry.

You will pull a wagon through the rutted rows. Every pumpkin is, at minimum, 80 pounds. You envision making memories. You will actually make a mess. You carve them yourself because the kids think they’re “yucky.”

Reward kids or self with caramel apple, hot cocoa or cider at the pumpkin patch for a job reasonably done. Immediately be attacked by yellow jackets. Throw it all in the trash.

Rake and pile leaves to jump in. Having learned nothing from the pumpkin patch, decide that this too might be a fun photo op for kids, pets, couples, etc. Spoiler alert: it is not.

Threaten all involved with bodily harm through clenched teeth if they don’t look thrilled to be enveloped in damp leaves that smell like sour mulch while sitting on a sharp stick.

Visit a corn maze. Get lost in the corn maze. Realize that a corn maze feels a lot like work. Fight off panic. Will you be here for hours? Will there be snacks? Where is the “in maze” restroom? Asking for a friend.

Watch spooky movies. Scare yourself and/or children. Spend the next few nights reminding all and sundry that “ghosts aren’t real.” Or are they? What was that noise? This activity is not recommended if you live in a century-plus old house that feels haunted on a sunny day.

Drag out your festive autumn decorations. Hang up a large wreath that makes it difficult to shut the door for the next few weeks. Bonus points if tiny pumpkins and autumn accouterments regularly fall off and have to be stuck back on. If you’re really blessed, you may have to pry some out of the dog’s mouth.

Science backs the fact that fall is overwhelmingly the “favorite season” among the masses. “A 2013 study from YouGov found that America’s favorite season is fall, with 29% of Americans surveyed revealing that autumn is their first choice by far.

Fall is, of course, associated with coziness, baked goods, a sense of new beginnings and order (back to school!) and favorite holidays on the horizon. For all our “countdown to Christmas” angst, most of us relish getting ready for holidays. The prevalence of candy, cookie and pie season certainly doesn’t hurt either.


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  1. This is the most accurate description of how my autumns play out with four kids!
    Now back to fixing the little pumpkins back onto my wreath…


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