September Morning Can Still Make Me Feel That Way*

Where have I been this past week? Why, out enjoying some semblance of fall, of course.

If you've ever been to East Tennessee in the June/July/August/September months, you'll know that we do hot. And humid. And sticky and sweaty and...well, it's hot. And this year, we've have more hot than usual. This year we've had 74 days above 90 degrees, when the past summers have only averages 34 days of scorchers. And I love hot. I really do. I'm a warm weather girl through and through, so I was fine with hot.

But then something strange happened. Football started. Kids went back to school. The air smelled fresher and crisper. And glory hallelujah, the temperature dropped 10 degrees. And I, much to my own surprise, discovered that this year rather than mourning the end of summer, I am all excited about this early sneak peak of fall.

I realize for those of you living in other parts of the country/world that a high of 80 degrees may not exactly scream fall weather to you, but trust me, the difference has been noticeable here. It has awakened a long dormant desire for me to wear boots and soft sweatshirts and kick up piles of leaves as I stroll along shady tree-lined lanes on my way to pick apples or carve pumpkins or something.

(Yes, I know that 80 is still too hot for sweatshirts and boots. And no, I'm not even sure if this is the right time to pick apples, or where to do it if it is. And yes, I know that there are exactly three leaves on the ground at the moment, which may or may not have been forcibly plucked off of a tree in the back yard and tossed in the air by a certain someone just so she could dance around while they fluttered back to earth, but hey, it's still early, and sometimes Mother Nature needs a little help. Shut up.)

Okay, Okay, so I may be rushing the fall thing a bit. The calendar says autumn doesn't actually start for two more weeks. And chances are this week's weather is just a fluke and it will go back to being 80 bajillon degrees soon. But there's this feeling around. And it feels like football, and back to school, and that certain crispy smell in the air, so I still say it counts.

There's something delightful about the change in the seasons, isn't there? Long before we've gotten tired of the cold, or the heat, or the rain, or the endless raking of leaves, there's a fresh excitement about the new things each season brings. A giddy feeling that makes us throw open the windows or linger a little longer on the sidewalk just to see and smell the coming changes in the wind. They're new and refreshing and timeless and comfortable all at once.

So that's what I've been doing this week. I've been on the back porch, eating the apples I picked up at the grocery store (seriously, can you pick your own apples now?), surrounded by three little still-green leaves, waiting expectantly for the signs of a newly approaching season. I can feel it coming, and I can't wait.

*A Neil Diamond song for the title reference? Oh yes I did.