So yesterday was the first day of fall. Here, of course, you can’t tell a difference. We’ve had a few cool mornings, signaling the beginning of the transition out of summer. Really we only have two seasons — hot and cold; spring and fall are almost non-existent. But the short windows before hot or cold are the best times of the year as far as I’m concerned. It’s cool enough that I don’t start sweating the minute I step outside, but warm enough that my face doesn’t go numb walking from my house to the car.
Right now we’re just about to turn the corner into the cold. The heat is hanging on with a tight-fisted grip, but a cool breath is in the air. Of course, it will only last a couple of weeks, if that long, and then it’s the long dreary isolation of Southern winter – cold, wet, cold, wet, and only snow every decade or so (and we got that last year, so I have no hopes for this year). My least favorite part of the year is definitely the cold season.
But at least the weather isn’t the end-all, be-all. Because, besides the weather, the cold season is definitely my favorite part of the year. I get at least one holiday every month, sometimes two! Halloween costumes are in stores already, and I’m itching to carve pumpkins. The Mississippi State Fair comes at the beginning of October, and I can already smell those funnel cakes and sweet honey biscuits, mingled with the smoke of the carnies, and hear the screams and teen pop music blasting from the rides that sound a bit too rickety for comfort but manage to operate fine year after year.
Then there’s Thanksgiving, with food and family, and Black Friday. That is a ritual for my family, notable for Cracker Jacks, McDonald’s breakfast, pushing, shoving, and racing, and that feeling to triumph when we go home with a trunk full of Christmas presents that we all get to pretend we didn’t know about when we open them up on Christmas morning.
Oh and Christmas! My Christmas has changed, and continues to, now that my family has grown. Ben and I are still figuring out how to share the holidays with all of our families, so each year is a little different. Usually Christmas Eve is IHOP after the candle-light church service, followed by a minimal amount of expectant sleep, and a super early morning to see what Santa brought us. And yes, at 23 (almost 24), we still get Santa presents. Then it’s breakfast at my grandmother’s of blueberry muffins, monkey bread, and cinnamon rolls, and more presents with the rest of the family. Then the whole lunch spread with all your traditional dishes. I don’t really know what this year will look like, since it’ll be split up between families. But I know I’m looking forward to it.
New Years is always fun. You can’t go wrong with fireworks and champagne.
But then…oh…then it’s just the cold with nothing to look forward to but the hot season. But each year I manage to buckle down and bear it. It helps when I have a nice long coat.