Here are a few.
- Soup. It's finally cool enough to make soup in my kitchen without dying. And it's cool enough to appreciate the warming effects. On the menu for this weekend: some chili perhaps?
- Sweaters. One of my favorite rituals as a child was finding the great barrels (cardboard, probably from U-Haul) that we stowed our winter wear in. As a child, it was like shopping, because what had belonged to my sister the year before was now mine. I remember specifically when I unearthed an "Organic" (remember that brand?) corduroy skirt that had belonged to my oldest sister that finally fit me. It was soft and brown. I loved that skirt! Now I only get to unpack the stuff from last winter that was mine and is mine still. But it is somewhat like shopping, because after six months, I've forgotten what's in there. My love of sweaters also explains why I will never live in Phoenix.
- Leaves. This year (maybe it's this way every year) it seemed like the trees on my street changed over night. One day green, yellow or red the next. I love leaves and have since I went to school in Oregon. There were so many beautiful colors in the fall. It's the same here. I love the intense yellows appearing all over. I collect the leaves with Son and press them in the Dictionary or the Riverside Shakespeare. I vow we will make some beautiful art project with these leaves. So far? A dictionary full of leaves.
- Pumpkins. I love pumpkin seeds and pumpkin pie. I love seeing a huge pile of pumpkins outside every grocery store. My love of pumpkins goes beyond Halloween. I especially love to visit Pumpkin Patches and pick my own. Sadly, this tradition seems to be disappearing. Son's school was recently deciding if the class should take a field trip to the Pumpkin Patch. I was one of the parents who raised her hand to say, yes, I want to go and I want Son to go. I love the crisp air and the tractors and the hayrides. I also love the hot cider.
- Fall Break. We never had one when I was in school. Or if we did, it was called "Potato Harvest." Even if I don't leave town, or I only get 50 miles away, it's a break.
- Baked Potatoes for dinner. See #5.
- Even though I don't watch football or follow football, I do have a certain nostalgic love for the outdoor sporting event. The crisp air, the sweaters. Do they still have bonfires? Probably not. They seemed unsafe, even when I was in high school. But they were fun.
What are your favorite signs of fall?