After an interminably long season, finally, we are reminded what makes this sport great; what makes Ken Burns, and Bob Costas, and — admit it, you — weepy. The moments, the strategy, the splendor, the history, the national pastime: small-ball; Dave Roberts' steal, the bloody sock, taking four straight from the Yankees; the cold; the midges in Cleveland. The epic walk-offs.
And if your team is not playing baseball in October, there's always October hockey.
Yes, the foliage, the color. The Crayola oranges and yellows, ambers and rubies; sure. But the smell of fall is what gets me. And the smell is of the turning leaves as they drop from the trees, as they dry up and crunch under foot, as they are raked into piles. And, of course, as those piles are dispersed by ecstatic toddlers.
The smell of leaves is the smell of outdoors. The smell of life itself.
Sure, spring has the greenery and the seedlings and the rebirth of Jesus and all that. But I was born right in the wheelhouse of fall, and I spent no less than 20 years going to school, and taught for another five, so my internal clock — and most everyone's — is well-honed to the yearly start of a new schedule each September.
Had the same job for nearly 10 years, like me? So find your new beginnings where you can — like on cable TV.
We don't have central air conditioning in our house, so we do very little stovetop cooking during the heat of summer, and none in the oven. When fall rolls around, we fire it up once again and put on pots of slow cooked soups and stews and chilis, sauces and braises; put together some butternut squash or pumpkin ravioli; crank up the oven to max and make pizza.
We begin, once again, to cook and eat like we mean it. Oh, indeed.
Summer is great for shorts and flip-flops, but it sucks for sleeping. You're either too hot without the air conditioning on, or too cold with it on. Fall marks the return to cold noses, warm covers, and easy funching.
In New England, there's a saying: "Stick to your flannels till your flannels stick to you." Truer words were never spoken. The first night with the flannel sheets on the bed is like sleeping with a warm cup of coffee.