It's the most wonderful time of the year
Last updated 10/16/2019 at 11:50pm | View PDF
I have long been a fan of fall.
While others are lamenting the end of sunny, 85-degree days, I long for the arrival of the autumn (but not so much that I acknowledge "meteorological fall" on Sept. 1 - I wait for the actual equinox!).
Spring certainly has its merits. The day when winter coats, scarves, mittens and boots can be traded in for a sweatshirt and a pair of sneakers certainly is a happy day, especially if you're trying to get a kid to school on time.
And it's not that I don't enjoy summer and winter. Each is wonderful in its own way, one offering lazy days on the beach and the other presenting stunning vistas of a world frosted in snow and ice.
But autumn has been my favorite season for as long as I can remember. For those who need convincing that fall is the best of the four seasons, I offer the following Top 10 reasons.
10. Cooler temperatures
I too love feeling the warmth of the summer sun on my skin, but after three or fourth months of it, I'm ready for a change. The crisp, cool air of fall is not only refreshing, it makes the next three things I love about fall all the more enjoyable.
The Cubs may be my favorite team, but football is my favorite sport. I know one day I will watch a Bears game on a sunny Sunday afternoon in perfect 55 degree weather (the temps at the two games I've seen were 95 degrees and 15 degrees).
8. Crock pot
Chili, Cuban pork and sweet potato stew, veggie minestrone, pork zuppa - these are all among my favorite meals. And they just don't seem to taste as good when the thermometer reads above 70 degrees.
7. Fall fabrics
Cashmere, corduroy, wool, flannel - clothes made of these materials are the ones I love to wear (even with the dry cleaning bills).
6. Back to school
I've always loved heading back to the classroom, from the time I was in kindergarten to my final year of grad school. (This is probably why I once planned to become a college professor.) Now my enjoyment comes from seeing Ainsley go back to school each fall.
5. Flashlight walks
Since Ainsley was a toddler, we've enjoyed taking walks around our neighborhood after dusk, seeking out the best Halloween decorations we can find.
We had a small apple tree in my backyard while I was growing up and each fall meant a plethora of apple dishes - baked apples, apple crisp, applesauce. I still love making these desserts, which always bring back memories of childhood.
3. Halloween specials
Speaking of childhood, I've never outgrown my love of holiday TV specials, with "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," ranking among my favorites. "Toy Story Tower of Terror," "Scared Shrekless" and the amazing "Room on the Broom" have made the season's viewing even better.
As I've written about before, I love all things pumpkin! The good news is a pair of wool trousers and a cashmere turtleneck sweater can help hide the damage done by too many slices of pumpkin cheesecake.
1. Nature's grand finale
The brilliant red of the sugar maples, the crunch of leaves underfoot, the sweet smell of cinnamon - fall is a feast for the senses.
Fall's only real drawback, as far as I can tell, is it means frigid temperatures and snowstorms are on the way. So let's enjoy it while we can.
- Pamela Lannom is editor of
The Hinsdalean. This column first was published Oct. 26, 2017.