Pumpkin spice season

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We know it’s almost fall because a Halloween costume and party store has popped up in an abandoned storefront in almost every town. That’s a dead giveaway.

Furthermore, the moment the calendar turned to Sept. 1 last week it was as if Mother Nature flipped a switch. Here in the Midwest, the temperatures dropped overnight.

Suddenly the weather went from “surviving on the surface of the sun” to “I could wear a light flannel and hike happily through woodsy places without dying of heatstroke.”

Another sure sign is the resurgence of the premiere sign of fall: pumpkin spice EVERYTHING.

Pumpkin pie spice is just a combination of those yummy “warm” spices that are the staple of holiday baking. Namely, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice and ginger.

Honestly, it’s just as much apple pie spice but somehow pumpkin gained the upper hand title-wise and has never relinquished dominance.

Hot

Headlines tell us that Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks are in an absolute battle for “pumpkin spice supremacy.”

According to Forbes, it is a $600 million annual market, so I suppose the pumpkin spice war makes sense?

Not to be outdone by the coffee wars, Bud Light is releasing a pumpkin-spice-flavored hard seltzer. There are already a plethora of pumpkin spice beers, so lines have been drawn on that battlefield as well.

Not content to be ingested, pumpkin spice also appears in personal care and grooming items galore as well. Pumpkin scented hand soap always pops up this time of year. I get this. I mean who doesn’t want to smell spicy after washing up?

On the beauty scene, pumpkin spice hair color. That one I can get behind. We already refer to red hair as “ginger,” or “strawberry blonde.” Why not add a little pumpkin spice highlight?

There is even pumpkin spice latte DEODORANT. For those days when you really want your armpits to smell like … fall?

Then we have the space where pumpkin spice reigns supreme: home fragrance. Candles, scented oils, sprays, and potpourri abound. Nothing quite says autumn home like the wafting scents of autumn spices and pie.

Personally, I always think food-scented home items are a cruel trick. Imagine coming home to the scent of fresh fall spices and baking only to discover there is not a thing to eat but candles and an oil diffuser.

At some point, that is just false advertising, isn’t it? This bait and switch is the main reason I won’t have coffee-scented candles in my home. My psyche could not handle the letdown.

All that aside, I am a fan of pumpkin spice and the feel of fall. Candy corn is one of my favorite vegetables.

Of course, there are all the old jokes about how “basic” the love of pumpkin spice is. The annual resurgence of gems such as “Someone spilled a pumpkin spice latte and now a bunch of ants are making brunch plans and doing yoga.”

“If you say ‘pumpkin spice latte’ in the mirror three times, a female in yoga pants will magically appear and tell you all her favorite things about fall.”

I don’t make fun of pumpkin spice love. I am happy if others are happy, and passing judgment on others’ beverage and candle choices just isn’t my thing.

Latte?

To pumpkin spice latte or not to pumpkin spice latte — that is the question.

The good news is that with the pumpkin spice season upon us, we can give up on “summer beach bodies” and sip our deliciously sweet drinks as we move right to the season of “bulky fall sweater figures.”

Life goes fast, and if we don’t take the time to savor, sip and sniff the best parts of each season, we just might miss out.  Not to mention that I enjoy watching the change of seasons from pumpkin spice to peppermint season, too.

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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.

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