Best time of year

Autumn’s here in full force… the nights are crisp, days refreshingly warm. Trees are gold and vermillion, some still tinged with green. Walking through a wooded area, one is assaulted by the sweet, slightly acrid smell of fallen leaves. Fall-themed wreaths are starting to appear on front doors through the neighborhood; dried corn husks and small squash in baskets on porches alongside. Fuzzy sweaters have found their way out of storage. I brewed coffee yesterday at 4pm and watched the kids play on the swingset, dressed in light jackets. The cozy smell of comfort foods wafted out of the nearest dozen kitchen windows, the same windows that allowed the occasional yelp to be heard from someone whose football team was just intercepted. The craving for grilled meats and sweet corn is slowly yielding to a desire for steamy, roasted meats and soul-sating soups.

Nights are now longer than days, and it’s dark when I wake up in the morning. If there’s a pretty morning sky, I will sometimes take my morning brew outside and watch the stars disappear in the changing colors of the morning twilight, hissing steam in the frosty air, listening to the squirrels chirp to each other as they dance across lawns, tree limbs, and power lines, frantically searching for nuts to store for the dreary winter that’s just around the corner.

I tried to sleep in a few days ago – a beautiful, lazy fall weekend morning – but one of my kids crawled into bed with us, had a dream about Splash Mountain or something, and whizzed all over the sheets. Yay parenthood.

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