Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Free Fallin'

Obligatory "fall leaves" picture. So pretty. 
After writing about politics and apartment fires, I thought I'd write a post that's a bit more simple: my simple loves of Fall.

Despite the fact that it always starts with a sinus infection and dozens of dollars spent on tissues and menthol cough drops, Fall is my most favorite season*. I believe it's called "Autumn" if you think you're better than me.

 *Fall is actually third behind The Christmas Season and Award Show Season. This is important to note as posts about these seasons will most likely show up in due time. But, I thought it would be dumb to write a post about my "Third Favorite Season" so just go with it.

In case you were hoping for an insightful post with clever, unexpected points, then I'm sorry. My reasons for loving this season are as cliche as they come. For example: pumpkins.

If it has pumpkin in it, then I'll probably be eating it. During the months of October and November, I eat pumpkin like it's going out of style. Because, guess what?? It is. You think you can get a pumpkin scone in March? Good luck with that.

Pictured to the left is a pumpkin scone from Starbucks. Now, in my expert-pumpkin-pastry opinion, Starbucks pumpkin scones can be hit-or-miss. This is due to the icing. There's too much of it. Sometimes it's delicious and sometimes it tastes like glue. (I think because maybe it is possibly glue). Personally, I'd rather have no icing at all, but sometimes you just get wrapped up in all their promotional pictures and the next you know, you've ordered it.

Unlike the rest of America, I don't actually obsess over Starbucks' pumpkin beverages. Pictured above is my tried and true "GrandeIcedGreenTeaUnsweetenedPlease." That's how I order it.

Even when your team is 2 and 74 or whatever the Panthers record is right now, football is still a great part of Fall. (For the record, I know the Panthers are 2-7. I believe in you, Cats. All Ws from here on out...)

Aside from a few irritating folks that I probably shouldn't be virtual friends with in the first place, I love that people get all crazy about their teams - college or professional. The Panthers may be having a JV season this year, but there's always that anticipation and hope that this will be the week.
Panther growl. Right before our VICTORY over the Redskins. 

I love how it is acceptable to wear your favorite boots and scarves but you can wear them because you like them, not because you have to wear them for the sake of your freezing cold neck or almost-numb toes. Nothing is fun if you have to do it. In the Fall, these fun accessories are more for fashion than function. There's no FUN in function. Oh wait...  

I know the mountains aren't exclusive to Fall and are fun to visit any time, but they somehow feel extra special this time of year. You can get local apple cider, the leaves are gorgeous, and the local brewers have harvest blends of beer. What could be finer?

Do I really need to elaborate on why Thanksgiving makes the list? It's about friends, family and the one day when you are expected to go back for seconds thirds. While I look forward to Thanksgiving all year, I became especially excited on October 16 for that was the day my Mom sent this: 

"Here's the menu for Thanksgiving:"
    • Spiced pistachios
    • Shrimp butter served on endive leaves and crackers
    • Wine, sparkling cider, mineral water (San Pellegrino type)
  • TURKEY with gravy
  •  SIDES
    • Cranberry sauce
    • New England herb stuffing
    • Cornbread stuffing with sausage
    • Relish tray including celery (blue cheese stuffed and plain), pickles, grape tomatoes, watermelon rind, olives etc.
    • Maple Whipped Sweet Potatoes
    • Holiday mashed potatoes with fresh chives
    • Roasted broccoli with pine nuts and fresh basil ribbons
    • Fresh green beans with lemon zest
    • Wine, sparkling cider, mineral water
    • Pumpkin pie
    • Apple pie
I like that the menu clarifies we can start drinking wine with our appetizers. And then it's listed again as a "side." As it should be. 

That's right, y'all. I know I'm supposed to be all, "Ugh, why do they put holiday decorations up in October? Why the rush? Next thing you know, we'll be buying Christmas trees in April, blah, blah blah.." But, you know what? I DON'T CARE. Christmas decorations make me happy. 

Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas is You" comes on when I'm buying Halloween candy? Fine by me. 

I actually bought a Christmas tree yesterday. I went to Whole Foods for Thanksgiving ingredients. The next thing I knew, there was a tree in my cart. It's like I blacked out and then suddenly found myself in a car that smelled like evergreen. (Although, I do recall the moment at check-out when the guy asked me if the tree is "for eating." Yes, I thought delicious, poisonous tree sap would be the perfect complement to my organic lettuce mix. Bless his sweet obviously-non-Christmas-celebrating heart.)

Now, with a two-foot-tall tree on my kitchen table - which in a studio is also your dining room table, living room console, and desk - I'm all in. I'm ready for Christmas carols, Family Channel movies about finding love in the North Pole, and eating candy canes for breakfast. Surprisingly, that's all thanks to you, Fall. And also, to overeager retailers who insist on pushing up the calendar.   


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