Where I Live

The Place Where “Autumn” Doesn’t Exist

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I’d love to say that autumn is my favorite season of the year, what with its changing leaves, smoky-cozy air, pumpkin-spices, toasted marshmallows, shorter days, and chilly climes.

Seriously though, what is all that?

The signs are certainly evident. The days are growing shorter I suppose, and school has been in session for a few weeks. One sign for me that autumn is here is the insane amount of paper grading my colleagues and I have to slog through. Oh, and there’s a lot of orange and brown decor up, Halloween candy is on display, and pumpkin flavored/scented everything is available everywhere. (Although, I don’t know if anyone else besides me thinks that the flavor and candle industries can’t quite capture tastes and scents of an actual autumn, certainly not an autumn around here).

However, the days are so sticky-balmy where I live, I don’t think I know what autumn is anymore. I like the idea of autumn. I think I may even remember what it felt and smelled like, authentically so. I once lived in England where it perpetually felt like an autumn — a damp, dark autumn. That was a long time ago though.

What exists here is definitely NOT an autumn, but it tries to be. Once the equinox is in full swing (starting tomorrow, I think), we’ll all start to get a sense of the daylight gradually fading out before 7pm. The late autumn sky is the most beautiful to me. Everything is clearer. Colors are more evident. The summer sunlight, by contrast, is often hazy — gorgeous at sunset when it’s not so cloudy, but a flat yellow during most of the day.  I’d blame pollutants, global warming, all that, but it’s trite, overdone, preachy.

Winter is only slightly better. It doesn’t get particularly cold, but it’s sometimes chilly enough for one to pull on a light jacket. I know there’s a slight dip in temperature during the autumn months — like it’s 80/F instead of 85/F outside — when the truly ditzy women around here start wearing boots and tights (they cannot stand being out of fashion no matter how sticky it is outside, and I think they’re all just nuts).

At any rate, I like autumn, somewhat, or whatever it’s attempting here. I like it a heck of a lot more than the summer months when it’s so hot and humid, I feel like vomiting.

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5 thoughts on “The Place Where “Autumn” Doesn’t Exist

  1. Ah, what a shame to miss out on it. That’s how I felt in Australia! There definitely aren’t real seasons in the traditional sense there. Here in Munich, the evenings are getting crisp and the leaves are turning orange. The equinox makes me really sad though! It’s all down hill from there 🙂 Give me a solstice anytime.

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  2. Oh, I know! I’m quite tempted to just drive up somewhere for a long weekend just to crunch around in some pretty leaves (though here in the SE of the U.S, probably wet leaves so they wouldn’t be particularly “crunchy”).

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  3. I miss Fall so much! I’m in North Florida, and there are maybe two weeks where it kinda sorta feels like Autumn. It doesn’t count because it’s in that blah time after Christmas. Having grown up in NY, it’s still weird not apple picking, or choosing pumpkins from a cardboard bin at Walmart.

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    • I totally agree — I miss fall, or at least the IDEA of a fall — quite a bit. The weather is cooling a little. Supposedly, it’s going to be in the 70s over the weekend, but we can translate “70s” to “early 80s” if we must absolutely honest about the temp. here. I can only tell it’s fall by the shorter days and fake-pumpkin-flavored everything everywhere, really.

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      • I definitely miss real Fall, but I’m the kind of sap that cries during the whole Thanksgiving parade and then burst into hysterical sobs when Santa appears at the end, too. The first Christmas I spent here, I walked around in amazement at all the little old ladies in their Christmas vests and jingle bell earrings. It was 80 degrees and I was buying spray snow for my windows….lol…Florida for the win. LOL!

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