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Let’s get this out of the way – fall (autumn) is the best season of the year. Unquestionably, unequivocally, and any other ‘un’ word you want to throw in there. We all agree on this, right? Okay. Sweet.
This list is written from the perspective of an Ohioan living in a temperate climate complete with 4 seasons. We have 3 other seasons to ‘consider’ when we’re trying to decide on the best, but let’s be real.
The winter is the winter. Cold, miserable, dark. It has Christmas but that’s about it.
“Summer,” You say? Humid, miserably oppressive (in terms of heat) where all outdoor activity and exercise must be complete before 6:00 am or after 9:30 pm. I agree that the summer vacation is crucial but do we want to anoint an entire season for 1 week… 2 if we’re lucky? Not in my book.
The only argument I’ll hear comes from the spring backers. Rebirth, fresh start, spring cleaning, spring training, March madness, warming temperatures (toward the end of the season)… There are some perks, no doubt. But if you don’t agree already, let me show you why neither of these three (including spring) are anywhere near the greatness of fall.
Here are my Top 10 reasons why autumn is king:
10 – Long sleeves
I enjoy rocking the tank-top and showing off the guns as much as the next guy but there’s something that just feels right about donning that first long sleeved shirt of the season. Comfortability, coziness, and some warmth. Now you have flexibility. Sleeves can be pulled up (or cut off if you’re going brash) while layers can be applied or removed as needed. Gone are the summer days where the only feeling is sweaty warmth. Now we have the ability to adapt, not to mention an extra napkin if absolutely necessary. Either way, sleeves – more importantly the ability to wear sleeves – are a welcome change.
9 – The pumpkin spice
Stereotype? Yes. True stereotype? Yes. Still amazing? Yes.
How can you not smile and enjoy the taste of a pumpkin pie, cookie, yogurt, latte, or bread (thank you Bob Evans)? While you’re at it, top that pumpkin bread with some pumpkin butter while you’re drinking a pumpkin spiced beer and eating pumpkin spiced salsa with some pumpkin flavored tortilla chips.
We look forward to pumpkin spiced foods for a good 8-9 months and by the time we’ve had our fill, fall is coming to a close. The spice is synonymous with great tastes and memories, which all come to us in the fall…
Mic dropped (and we’re only on number 9)…
8 – Best assortment of holidays
When it comes to holidays, I judge based off of 4 questions: 1) what are we eating, 2) who are we with, 3) where are we, and 4) what are we doing? Thanksgiving alone checks all of these boxes. Arguably the best menu of any holiday (and you wouldn’t have to argue that hard). Most of us spend the day with family either at home or back where home once was, but if you are on the road, there is that paid holiday that helps ease the travel burden.
The icing on the cake – you’re sampling that wonderful menu, watching some football, and enjoying some great times with family. Thanksgiving for us has produced wedding announcements, wrestling matches, epic card games, and a whole host of other highlights… What’s not to love?
It’s criminal that we’ve come this far in the holiday section without mentioning Columbus day (we live in Columbus so how could we not love this one?), Halloween, and Veteran’s Day… and we only miss Christmas by 5 days (Fall ends December 20 this year) but we get to claim a good part of the lead-up.
No doubt a phenomenal assortment of holidays. Yet another reason fall is king.
7 – Fall sounds
It’s a great feeling to have the windows open (more on that later) when the high school band practice fills your kitchen space with the sweet tones of (insert your school’s fight song here) and the Beatles medley that never disappoints.
Apart from band music, there’s the crunch of freshly fallen leaves under your feet during the morning run, the PA announcer’s exciting voice on Friday nights, and the neighborhood kids outside playing underneath the year’s remaining sun rays.
It’s the season to enjoy the sounds of falling leaves, crisp wind gusts, and crackling fires… Segue…
6 – Fire places and pits
Roasted marshmallows, hot dogs, and chestnuts aren’t the only things produced via open flamed fire pits and places. You’d be remised to not mention the great moments and memories they also produce. One glimpse into my childhood brings up warm thoughts of shared time, stories, and many starry night skies with friends and family.
Another pro – they’re incredibly versatile. You can have a fire (as long as you’re following the appropriate laws of state and common sense) on a beach, on a mountain, surrounded by snow, or in a back yard surrounded by the fallen leaves of the season.
Oh, and FDR didn’t have poolside chats. He had fireside chats. Must’ve been a reason for that distinction…
5 – Fall colors
Disclaimer: we don’t live in the tropics, or anywhere near palm tree growth. That being said, show me a more beautiful picture of nature than a temperate forest when the leaves begin changing colors.
Hard to find a suitable alternative, isn’t it?
Shades of red, yellow, and orange combine to form a beautiful mosaic that becomes the backdrop of your outdoor fall activities. Family selfie, anyone?
4 – Outdoor activities
We have apple picking, pumpkin picking, festivals, running races, raking leaves, jumping into raked leaves, corn mazes, turkey bowls (backyard football games with friends on Thanksgiving morning), Friday night high school football…
Let me know the big ones I’ve forgotten, but fall is the season to take ourselves outdoors and make some memories together.
I’ll even look past the organized events. Fall is such an inviting season that our family will get out to take more walks, runs, or trips to the playground. I’m not sure if it’s the ideal temperature or the fact that we know winter is looming, but either way we see a ton of our neighbors doing the same.
With all of that outdoor fun behind us, now we can reap the literal fruits of our labors. Apple picking leads to apple pie, sauce, and cider, which may or may not be mixed with your favorite spirit of the season… No judgement here.
What’s more? Those races mentioned above don’t run themselves, and all that training can lead to 2 things: 1) increased fitness and physique, and/or 2) at least you’ve earned the ability to take in more calories after the race is over.
Pumpkin roll??? Don’t mind if I do.
That takes me to reason #3 why fall is king.
3 – The food
One word should be sufficient here: Thanksgiving.
No worries though, I’ll expand.
Thanksgiving brunch, Thanksgiving lunch, Thanksgiving dinner, Thanksgiving midnight snack…
To only mention the above holiday would be irresponsible. So let’s not forget about the other foods that accompany the fall season. We’re talking our comfort foods, casseroles, stews, and the like. All dishes left to hibernate during the sweltering summer.
Sure, you can make chili in the spring and summer but as with most things, timing is key. The warming roasts and filling soups are taken best by a fire or in front of a TV displaying your favorite team’s final moments of a winning game.
2 – Best months of the sporting year
Every sports fan is happy. Baseball playoffs. Hockey and basketball are starting up while football is hitting its stride. Joy fills the heart while the only challenge is making sure you still carve out the appropriate amount of time for family and work.
1 – Cool crisp air
Instead of fall, maybe we should call this open window season. The air that’s been circulating inside of your house for the past 5 months can now be refreshed and recirculated with the fresh air outside. A little ventilation can go a long way. Moves the dust around a bit and flushes the germs out (that last statement is not based in research but not much of this article is, so…).
Finally we’re able to head outside at all times of the day, with temperatures in the 50-70 range rather than the 80-95 or 0-32 ranges. Both of the latter are equally ridiculous. But we can work with 50-70. Now we have the ability to bundle in the morning and shed layers as the day progresses.
Cool crisp mornings set with brilliant sunrises, evening sunsets with the soundtrack of fall breezes, and afternoons with the family around a solid pot roast on the deck. Activity and the outdoors fill our days. This is fueled by reasons 2-10 but only possible because of reason #1.
Those are my top 10 reasons why fall is king, so what do you think?
Let me know if you agree, what I missed, or why you may have a momentary lapse and disagree.
Thanks for reading!
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