Monday, October 23, 2006

A few thoughts on fall

I love fall. Growing up in Florida very close to the beach, after months of sweltering heat and brilliantly bright sunshine, fall was when it temperatures dipped below 90- at least for four or five hours. As soon as the thermometer dropped into the low eighties, we would pull out our sweaters, turn the air a little lower, and drink hot chocolate while sweat dripped down our foreheads.

At back-to-school time, when my mom would take us shopping for new clothes, I was always amazed at the number of sweaters for sale. It seems that department stores buy the same clothing to sell in all their stores, no matter where they are located. So all of us Florida girls had the same long sweaters and stirrup pants (loved those!) to choose from that the girls in Vermont were deciding upon.

Mom would stock us up on sweaters, nice sweat shirts, and a good jacket- which I guess we thought we would need for the one day of the year it got cold enough for us to enjoy them. We could have done several outfit changes on that special cold day and then sent the then-useless sweaters up to the girls in Vermont. Instead, we would continue to wear the sweaters anyway, pretending to need them.

After moving away to college (in north Florida, where it did get pretty cold) and seminary (for my husband) in Kentucky, we moved back to my hometown. Being on cold-weather autopilot, when fall came we bought sturdy coats for our boys (Sophie was not born yet, and we had learned our lesson by the time she came.). They never wore them. Not once. Jeans, long sleeved t-shirts and a light jacket were completely adequate. My husband's very nice Land's End Squall Parka (which is, by the way, the best deal ever on a great jacket) has gone unused since Winter 2002.

Carter, my intense 5 year old, loves-loves-loves cold weather. He has asked me almost every day since he could understand the concept, "Is it going to be chilly today? Can I wear big (long) pants?" While we were in Florida, I had to break his heart 364 days out of the year and tell him, "It will not be chilly today, tomorrow, or the next day."

Learning the seasons has gone a long way in helping to mend his broken heart. So has moving to North Carolina, where we have already had lots of cooler weather than we are accustomed.

We are thrilled with the leaves beginning to change, the fields of pumpkins ripening, and the nip in the air. Yes, the jackets have already come out (but not the Squall yet). Carter has worn 'big pants' every day for two weeks, and cowboy boots are the standard foot attire for my boys. We have enjoyed every minute of fall, even though we do miss the beach once and a while.

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