While I’m forever glad I live in a place that has all four seasons, I will forever have a favorite of those: Fall. There’s a lot to love about this season, but the best part, of course, is the change in weather.
Nebraska and South Dakota, too, are HOT in the summer. They also carry a lot of humidity in those summer months, so there’s nothing quite as refreshing as getting to those first mornings of fall that feel crisp and cool, without a hint of steamy, sticky air that you have to wade through come afternoon. Instead, the drier, colder air makes you think you’d better grab a sweater or hoodie to keep yourself cozy until the sun warms everything up by mid-day, and of course then you’ll need those layers again later in the night, when the sun’s heat slips below the horizon for sleep.
If I’m being honest, layers are probably another reason I love fall. Whereas in summer, you can only take so many clothes off to beat the heat, in fall you can play both ends of that spectrum as often as you need. Nothing beats adding layers via long-sleeves, blanket scarfs, and jeans, and nothing is easier to change later in the day if none of those clothing items are still deemed weather-appropriate. Granted, as a parent, this can be an absolutely maddening time because your children never know what’s acceptable to wear to school that day. Instead of trying to fit just one season into their drawers, you have to have at least two, maybe three, seasons available because that’s how many variations in weather you might have during the time they’re at school on any given fall day.
The other big bonus of fall is the beauty of all the changing leaves before they start to rain down and create the not-so-fun fall chore of raking. I’m obsessed with changing leaves and can never decide if I like the red, orange, or yellow ones best. Our long-time neighbor to the north has an apricot tree and those golden little leaves always make my heart happy, but so do the fire-red offerings on the Autumn Blaze Maple that we planted in our first few years here (which is now well above the main story of our house tall). It’s a miracle I don’t take a million photos of leaves in October because that’s how tempting the fall spread is here. Some years it lasts and lasts and others bring a sudden cold snap followed by a strong wind that takes them all away too soon; you just never know how long the gift will keep, so it must be enjoyed while it holds.
And really, for a transitional season, that sums up life as a lover of fall in general. Sometimes summer lingers and holds on and you think you’ll never stop sweating your way through the days before a short fall pops up, followed by winter barging in cold and cruel. Other times winter gets impatient and shows up too soon, taking away not only the leaves but any chance of enjoying days without coats and nights when you can go for a late walk without freezing your face.
Perhaps it is this mysterious nature that draws me to fall; even though there are definite markers of the season and annual traditions that accompany it, the fact that each and every one is unique probably also explains why it holds my heart (and wraps it up in a comfy scarf).
Eightish years later.