It’s fall, baby! Or as we like to call it in Texas, Just Had Summer. But I am loving it! Autumn is truly more welcome than usual around here after the most brutal summer on record, but regardless of the roasting we’ve endured in the previous season, Fall is my favorite time of year and always has been. Oh, Fall. Why do I adore you? Let me count and pontificate on the ways.
It bears repeating: It’s not hot. Oh, sure, it still climbs into the mid-80s, which some soft New England types still might complain about. But not us Texans. We just had 70 days above one hundred degrees in this neck of the woods. We are loving us some 80s. The air is dry, and the nights are downright chilly. I love the time of the year when the kids have to bundle up in the morning (even though we lose a number of jackets as they are unnecessary after school lets out). So what if the colorful foliage this year is due to the summer killing every piece of living vegetation in Texas? We’ll take it.
Two words: Football Season. Yes, I capitalized it. I was born and bred in the South. Football is a religion here, you see. More importantly, I was brought up within the ranks of the One True and Righteous College Football Conference: The SEC. Sorry, Big 12. When you have to play LSU, Alabama, and Auburn in your first month of the schedule, we’ll talk. Women in the South know and adore their college football. There’s nothing like watching a good conservative Christian blonde in Gucci heels suddenly scream,”TACKLE THAT SUMBITCH AND BREAK HIS LEGS!”At Southern colleges, game days meant semi-formal dress for the stadium, and your date WEARS A TIE. We are, indeed, ready for some football.
It’s all about the comfort food. Ah, fall. Season of pumpkin breads, pies, muffins, and mostly importantly, spice lattes. When you haven’t had a hot meal for four months because you can’t bear to turn on an oven in the heat, it’s heaven to cram your face full with hot soups, chili, and grits. Oh, grits. Bearer of cheese, shrimp, butter…pretty much whatever you really want to be eating can be delivered by the marvelous mush that is grits. Northerners should look into it. Hot food: GET INTO MAH BELLY.
Halloween! Coolest. Holiday. Ever. What beats costumed, socially endorsed door to door panhandling for chocolate? I love Halloween. I love watching It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! until my kids insist on watching something from this century. And horror movies! Why do I adore them? I can only blame my childhood, but I’m watching Halloween with the original scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis EVERY YEAR. As well as Carrie, but that’s about my twisted high school revenge fantasies and is best kept between my therapist and me. I’m sure my rich inner life is also why at this time of year I also must throw toast at Tim Curry on a movie screen. While dressed as a maid in garters.
Fairs and carnivals. I am a sap for all fair traditions: I want stuffed animals to be won bravely for me on the midway by Hubs shooting water into a clown’s mouth. I want cotton candy. I MUST HAVE THE FLETCHER CORNY DOG or there will be sulking until next September. I want a fried door knob if that’s what’s won the top fair food prize. I don’t care. I ain’t skerred. I want to be breathless at the top of the Texas Star Ferris wheel. I even want to volunteer at my kid’s carnival for the ring toss game. Oh. Wait. No, I actually don’t want to do that. But I am, because have I mentioned I love Fall?
Thanksgiving! It’s like a carbohydrate parade into Christmas! I’m outing myself as a food enthusiast, but it’s so true. What other time of year to I get to wrestle a huge dead bird, bathe him in salt water, truss him up, stuff him with MORE food, and cram him into my oven for hours? I love all the old familiar, complicated casseroles I don’t make any other time of year. I even love my mother burning the rolls on the bottom year after year because she has no idea how to work my stove.
I hope you’re finding as much to be grateful for this season as well! There’s a lot of fun to the season, folks. Grab you a corny dog, get into costume, ride that roller coaster and buy a bigger pair of pants. Because 2011 is waning. And if you’re like me, you’ve fallen for Fall.