Wool jackets and leather boots

September 15, 2009

Fall is my favorite season in the Northeast.

I love that first chill in the air, the signal that you can break out cooler seasonal clothes. The perfect fall outfit: tailored wool blazer, turtleneck, jeans and boots. A steaming cup of coffee out.

A rainbow of leaves litter the ground: purple, red, orange, yellow and green, and the trees start to show their winter skeletons.

It’s been a long time since I’ve heard the whooshy scrape of rakes scooping up leaves or seen the stacks of colorful organics. Or had that callus between thumb and forefinger from the rake handle rubbing against the web of my hand.

Before EPA regulations, there’d be a whiff of burning leaves every weekend, and you knew that before match hit leaf, kids had jumped around in the pile. And excitedly anticpated the bonfire.

If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace, the weekend’s also the time to bring some logs in and stack them nearby. A cool dusk and a fire that lights and warms the dim room. Lamps that go on at 5pm. A comfortable chair. A thick book. Soft music.

And pumpkins! The first inhabitants of those seasonal tents, soon to be occupied by firs and evergreens for the Christmas season. The smell of pumpkin flesh as you carve a jack-o-lantern.

And buying the trick or treat candy, a useless exercise in many neighborhoods today because parents are afraid to take their costumed kids door-to-door if they don’t know the neighbors. But we still do it, just in case.

Fall is just not fall in Florida.

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