A cozy fire to keep you warm


“There was an undefinable change over everything that meant autumn.” — Lucy Maud Montgomery

I’m having a pretty laid-back Labor Day to wind up my vacation and I discover that I’m having to exert myself to relax, believe it or not.

Do you realize — but of course you don’t — that this is the first time in about 24 years that I don’t have to care at all about the fact that it’s September and the start of a new school year? I know I said that Ricky’s graduation was as much a milestone for me as it was for him but I really had no idea. Nobody in my household is going back to school this month — not even me! I feel like something indefinable but precious has gone out of my life.

It’s not just school — although I will confess that I like school, I have always liked school, even when I was six I liked school. I like striving for excellence, and I have always believed that it’s cool to know stuff.

But besides that, I like beginnings. That is why I like Spring. That is why I like New Year’s Day. And that is why I have always liked September, because September has always signified another beginning.

Until now.

Well, that’s what I thought. But of course, September is the beginning of so much more than school. For me, the biggest deal is that September is the beginning of Fall. I love Fall. The closest thing to perfect weather that I ever see happens in the fall. The temperatures start to cool so that the world becomes more comfortable. It is usually less humid in the Fall, which is even better. The leaves start to turn, so that the hills all around me catch fire with beautiful and dramatic and amazing color.

And then later in the Fall, when the temperatures cool still further and the days grow shorter and shorter, we withdraw into our homes, close our doors and light our hearth fires. The streets grow quiet again (even in a college town — at least, for the most part!) because, of course, the colder it is outside, the fewer people there are out there.

And don’t get me wrong. I don’t dislike people. Some of my best friends are people. In fact, that’s one of the most common misconceptions that people have about me when they discover that I’m an introvert. They think I don’t like people. But I do … really! It’s just that I find them exhausting, especially in large doses.

Besides, I just like quiet. More than that, I need quiet.

But I digress.

Anyway, besides all this weather and silence stuff, all the best holidays are in the Fall and early Winter. I’ve never been a big Halloween fan but it’s been fun watching my kids enjoy it over the years. Thanksgiving is my absolutely favorite holiday, in spite of all the extra work it makes for me. (I like Thanksgiving better than Christmas … I wonder what that tells you about me?) Christmas is always more fun when you have a job, so we’ve been having fun with it since I graduated. New Year’s Eve, the party is at my house.

And Gina is going to be home for all this wholesome family togetherness this year. SQUEEEEEEEEE! – ahem –

So, while I read of other people who lament the passage of another Summer, I can just smile. Nobody is going to school this year but everything else I like about Fall is still there for me to look forward to.

My glass isn’t half full. It is completely full and overflowing.

Life is good.