Oh, boy. Oh, boy. Oh, boy! Fall starts next week! Well, for most of the country, at least. Here in Florida, it doesn't really begin until November but it's only visible in Tallahassee. Monroe Street to be exact. I think it's because they have the right kind of trees.
It's sad, really. Fall doesn't happen here in Jacksonville. Or any other part of Florida that I've seen. My friend has a theory about the seasons of Florida: "There's spring, summer, and next summer." Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. Except for Hurricane Season and "Holy crap, why the f*** is there frost on my windshield if I live in Florida!?" Season, too. We all know who's stealing whose thunder there.
So, back to fall. Our trees go naked, just like everyone else's. And we rake the leaves that fall and smother the grass that we've been trying to cover for months because the HOA hates the fact that drought makes the 'hood look like shit. (Dead leaves give Floridians a reason to have shitty looking lawns even though drought conditions weren't a valid excuse.) Sadly, you can't even playfully dive into your pile of raked leaves. Why not, you ask? Imagine fifty spiky walnut-sized pine cones hiding in there, just waiting to puncture your skin like stationary darts. Now imagine landing on them. You catch one in your forearm, a pair of thorns pierce through your jeans and stab you in the thigh, and yes - you're bleeding, just a little bit - but, hey, blood is blood, right?
I don't think I've ever experienced a real fall season. Living in Upper Michigan only means the snow melts long enough in June for the family to go camping in the woods and not have to worry about pissing icicles because it's so cold outside. I know I never even had a full Halloween costume...what was the point of it if you had to cover it up with a snowsuit? In Maryland, it's blazing hot and then it's just plain cold. I'm sure the leaves change into the beautiful colors I've heard so much about but when you're living outside of Washington, DC, trees are hard to come by as most of the them have either been shot, mugged, or they've just flat out packed up and decided to move to Southern Maryland.
How do we function here in Florida when the rest of the country is experiencing Mother Nature at her finest?
1. We buy candles. Just this afternoon, I spent $40 at Yankee Candle Company and brought home some decent loot. Candied Apple, Autumn Fruit, Cafe Au Lait, and Buttercream (for the kid). And a huge tote bag for $5. Shake a stick at that.
2. We bake. Alot. Seventy-four recipes in one book? Sure, I'll buy it! And what's this? Scream Cheese Swirled Brownies! Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake! And, yes, that really is called Scream Cheese...Halloween is just around the corner and I don't have to buy my kid a snowsuit! I can buy her an honest-to-goodness Halloween costume! Just wait till I tell her about the goold ol' days when I had to walk uphill both ways in the snow just to get to school.
3. We turn our calendars to pages that look like this (and dream of seeing a place like this with our own eyes):
4. We visit our friends who live near places that look like this (and plan to move there one day ourselves):
5. We go to Tallahassee in November!