It’s here. Finally.
Even if it isn’t yet official (especially around here where it’s still in the 90s and everything is still green), to me, it is fall. Down here in the South we have the longest summers ever (not quite true, but it is for me) and the humidity just kills me. I hate it.
I’ve been ever-so-patiently waiting (not) for fall ever since the end of June. You think I’m joking.
I don’t like living in a place where I sweat at 7 am even after I’ve taken my morning shower. I mean, who does? GROSS. How do people live like this?
It’s temporary, though. Temporary. I keep saying that even after 8 years of this crap. Leaves don’t really change color here; they’ll stay green and suddenly drop to the ground, dead and brown. It’s heartbreaking that hardly anyone around here knows what it’s like to witness first-hand the breathtaking majesty of those changing leaves up north. Heartbreaking. I suppose if you don’t know any better, then it means nothing to you, because this is normal and ‘how it should be.’
But to me, it’s a tragedy. It’s like going to meet your idol in person but instead someone else who represents him hands you a reprint of an autographed picture… and sends you on your way.
I miss the subtle scents of crisp autumn air that we never get down here. Never. They think they do… but they don’t.
I used to rush off to Starbucks for the seasonal Pumpkin Spice Latte every year as if it were some ritual to usher in the transformation. Since going vegan/plantbased over four years ago, I’ve learned not to order those (because they’re not vegan even if you order them with soy milk & no whip) but to make them at home instead, or to turn to hot spiced apple cider. Store shelves packed with Pumpkin Spice this and Pumpkin Spice that. You know they even have Pumpkin Pie Pop-tarts? Caramel apples and potpurri on the stove and knit slippers. Or warm cups of brewed tea with hints of cinnamon and clove. Marigolds by the front door (in pots, of course, because I only end up killing them by winter anyway).
Apple orchards and pumpkin patches – REAL pumpkin patches, not the little “pumpkin patch” at the local dairy farm that is nothing more than a small, fenced garden with piles of pumpkins bought from a store. Imagine being so excited to finally go to a pumpkin patch, only to stand in front of that. And half the pumpkins have been trampled and busted open, because people down here just don’t have the same reverence for fall that we do up north. Not that they don’t appreciate fall; they just do it differently.
I need brisk chills in the air and a reason to wrap myself up in an oversized sweater. A reason to break out the soft, cozy scarves (yes, I have multiple) and the knee-high socks and the tall boots that have spent the whole of spring and summer in the back of my closet. Peaceful afternoons with a fuzzy blanket and a good book, preferably with the hues of autumn outside my window…
Doesn’t it sound just lovely?
We don’t get that here. We go from green to brown. I will admit there are a handful of trees around this whole “city” that turn a bit yellow for a few days before they die, but that’s just not cutting it, guys. It’s just not.
I don’t know where we’re moving next, but it will definitely be north. Somewhere with four seasons and relief from the stupid heat and suffocating humidity… Somewhere with white Christmases (or at least a far better chance for one) and mild spring weather to transition to summer instead of jumping right in.
One more fall, one more winter, one more spring. That’s what I have to get through before we go. The right place will present itself if we’re patient. I’m the one who makes it hard; I’m a gypsy soul. I told my husband, “I don’t think I ever want to settle down in one place.”
He says, “I don’t want to move every few years. Once more and that’s it.”
I stay silent.
He says, “I may get a job in Florida.”
I say, “If you really want that job, then I won’t hold you back. But I won’t go.” I still love him. I always will. And I’m not talking about divorce; I just refuse to live in the South any more after 8 years here. I just can’t. But I don’t want him to have to give up on his dreams because of me.
Of course, he doesn’t like that solution at all, and I understand.