Thursday, September 22, 2016

Fall Unfolds

I did not realize September 22 is the first day of fall, or autumn (in the Northern Hemisphere). The word fall stems from Germanic origins. The French contributed the word autumn via Etruscan and Latin words. Whatever you call the season that follows summer (Germanic origin), it crept up on me this year.

The American colonies used the term fall, commonly used in England. When the colonies declared their independence, some patriots widened their vocabulary and, as a protest against the mother country, adopted the term autumn. Not really, but it makes a good story…

Fall arrives every year at the same time. No surprises, no pre-announcements or preparations necessary. I suppose I was not paying attention. That happens at times when in retirement mode.

One reason I was unaware of the arrival of the momentous event is because I made a calculated effort to minimize listening to the news, watching news, and perusing social media. Although the entire world will not vote in the Presidential election on November 8, and other happenings occur around the world, you would not know it from casually listening to the radio, watching TV, scanning the Internet, talking to acquaintances, or accessing other means of communication. What do you think the inhabitants of planets in far-off galaxies think of the Presidential media circus? Great entertainment and puzzlement, for sure.

No matter what else happens, seasons come and go. The season leading to Halloween, Thanksgiving, and December madness beckons. The days grow shorter. A chill in the air warns of summer’s end. Stores publicize hiring plans for the holidays. Restaurants announce seasonal closings or reduced hours. The pharmacy down the block no longer boasts 24/7 hours.

My garden begs for attention. I think about fall plantings and seasonal cuttings, but an action plan remains elusive.

The air conditioner no longer runs. A hot summer generated sky-high electric bills. Low utility bills, at least temporarily, will be welcomed. I can dream about spending those extra dollars.

The best part of the season (for me) is trading skimpy summer clothes for additional coverage.

Organizations ratchet up activities. Meetings and social events begin filling the calendar. New episodes of favorite TV shows air and new shows launch so we can enjoy hours of mindless entertainment.

Fall, or autumn if you prefer, is time to prepare for colder temperatures, more time spent indoors, and longer nights.

It is time to take a favorite blanket out of storage and install it on my comfy chair, bring sweaters and pants out of storage and pack up summer clothes. A shopping trip will stock shelves with items ignored over the summer but soon desired, like hot chocolate and hot cereal. And it is time to think about cooking a luscious-smelling pot of soup.

Summer fades to fall and treads lightly into the cold, dark winter season. Whatever happens after Election Day November 8, winter arrives December 21.

Some things never change. 


  1. Fall is my favorite season, for all the reasons you mention here. We also get rain, lots of it, and overcast skies, but somehow I don't mind it at all. :-)

    1. The sun and the colors make us forget, at least temporarily, the gray skies and rain.

  2. Delightful commentary on fall! I think the changes are more pronounced where you live than what I experience in Southern California, unless I go to higher elevations. I've experienced the cooler climes and sometimes am nostalgic to do so again -- but only for a short period of time.

  3. Ah yes... I am truly missing all the fall colors since we went back to the mainland in summer this year.

    1. You will appreciate the colors even more when seen again!

  4. I can cook again when it gets cooler. Soups and such.

  5. I know that fall comes every year so why am I always surprised? My husband and always talk as though it has never rained or frosted before since the beginning of time. It makes me laugh!