The time has come, when the sweltering heat of summer gives way to the crisp mornings of fall. When the morning's dew on the grass lasts well past the rising of the sun. When the rich greens fade into warm browns, orange and red.
Autumn is my season. Full of rich foods, warm spiced drinks, hearth smoke, sweaters, tall boots, Friday Night Lights and reasons to snuggle down beneath soft throw blankets and wear fuzzy socks, it draws me home. The first cold snap inevitably brings out all my deeply rooted Southern Girl traits, the desire to bake, write hand written letters and clean everything before decking it out in holiday finery. The entire season is about going below the surface and finding strength, shoring up weak spots and storing what is needed for a later date.
My home and office get decked out just as quick as I can get away with it by social standards. This means Fall decorations can go up in mid September, Halloween on Oct 1st, Thanksgiving on Nov 1st, and Christmas the day after Thanksgiving. Trust that my fingers are itching to toss garlands, floral arrangements, brick-a-brack and holiday trees across every available surface with a maniacal glee.
The traditional meal of roasted tomato soup and crab meat fritters is shared with friends and family during the Texas State Fair in early October. A simple and deliciously hearty meal done time and again, just once a year and always a treat.
Holiday cards are nearly always hand written, though there have been a few years when picture cards went out instead. There is something soothing to me about pen to paper, so much more personal than typewritten communication. The feel of good paper-stock and a well crafted pen are tactile pleasures. Knowing that just seeing the colorful envelope mixed in with daily junk-mail and bills will cause the recipient to smile before they even open the card inside makes me smile in turn.
In the land of personal traditions there are the movies of each season, Harry Potter for October, West Wing in November and Lord of the Rings in December. Movies that have become the sound track of those holidays for me over the years, they play while I decorate and bake, background noise for meal preparations. The stories intertwined with our holiday tales.
Fall is my season, and I am glad it is finally here.