I have never wavered in my feelings for fall. Even as a child, when asked to draw a picture of my favorite time of year, though classmates would draw beach scenes with golden sand, starfish and curly blue waves, I remained steadfast. I drew trees and more trees (although they looked a lot like dinner forks), each and every one covered with an amazing array of brightly colored blobs.
The little stick people in the summer pictures would soon have scorching sunburns, while my stick people would know the comfort of pulling on a sweater to ward off autumn's chill.
I have always given first place to fall because it has the best temperature range of the entire year. Brisk mornings, warm afternoons and a nip in the air as the sun sets and the harvest moon rises.
Your other seasons are usually friendly upon arrival, but they always take a turn toward the inhospitable once they have a foot in the door. Summer grows blistering hot and refuses to work, winter becomes preoccupied with calculating the wind chill and spring turns so soggy she spawns moss between the gardener's toes. Fall, however, remains invigorating for both work and rest.
You can throw open the windows at night and burrow beneath the warmth of extra blankets, a comforter or a quilt. It is like camping with all the amenities of home. Well, at least until the husband gets up and shuts the window, claiming only caves should be 55 degrees.
The clouds must agree with the husband. They dip low in the fall, as if to insulate us from the coming cold. Some days the clouds hover so close they nearly brush the treetops. If a body had a trick pony and a good rope, you could ride to the top of a hill, lasso a cloud and pull it all the way to the ground. Another score for fall. You can't rope the towering clouds of spring and summer.
You also can't rake daffodils into a pile and jump in them. And kicking tulips down the sidewalk is nothing short of sick. But leaves? Enjoying leaves is a seasonal rite of passage.
Only fall lets you catch a red maple leaf doing pirouettes through the air, gracefully defying gravity. The leaves tumble and swirl, float and drift. The acrobats of nature are everywhere you turn.
Fall also has the edge, in that it is the only season to arrive with suitcases loaded with spices and scents pumpkin and nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice, the aroma of apple crisp and logs burning in the fireplace.
The colors and smells are followed by the early signs of harvest, the march of oranges and yellows, pumpkins and squash, cheerful mums and bouquets of bittersweet. For a rather quiet season, fall actually keeps quite a hectic pace.
I'll give you one more reason why fall is my favorite. The truth is, I look good in autumn. All brunettes look good in autumn brown, plum, red and amber. They are colors that pair well with brown eyes and brown hair.
Heartfelt sympathies to all you blondes, but the days of summer have finally passed.