Autumn has officially changed her wardrobe and, in my opinion, she is the most stylish season of all. Ruby reds and burnt oranges seem to be her everyday wear and occassionally a pop of goldie-locks yellow accents her bold style. It seems as though autumn spreads vibrant colored leaves all over the grassy parks and sidewalks just as a daily reminder that she's only around for a short time. This year my husband and I are taking in her beauty from our new home in a mountainous city in Tennessee. Living here is like being part of an ever-changing painting where the artist's talent gets better with every stroke of the brush. Miss Autumn is also very gracious to give us a break from the extreme southern humidity which can only be truly appreciated and understood by a long-time resident. During the warm months, just walking out to gather the mail will leave you drenched in sweat before making it back to the front door. Air conditioning and wading in a pool of water is a necessity when it comes to summer survival down here. Now that the cool fall temperatures and crispy breeze have arrived, we love falling asleep with our windows up and waking up feeling refreshed.
When this time of the year rolls around, the leaves aren't the only ones going through a change. What I wear, how I cook, our weekend activities, and how I view each day is different. Slowly but surely my sun dresses and flops are replaced with cozy sweaters and knee-high boots. Warm scarves are taking the place of summer necklaces and I prefer it that way. During the hot southern months, our refrigerator is packed full of cold pasta salads, washed and sliced seasonal fruits, and chilled tomatoes for a quick sandwich because turning on the oven would be like tossing wood into a blazing fire. These days my crock pot stays full of vegetarian chili, the oven is constantly heating up winter vegetable casseroles with a variety bubbling cheeses, and hot tea is my drink of choice. Late night frozen yogurt runs take a back seat to dark chocolate s'mores and a mug full of steamy hot cocoa. One of my favorite fall traditions is to drag my husband to the local pumpkin patch and, according to him, spend way too much time picking out the perfect one. And of course, football and tailgating is like air to a southerner. Fans drive for miles and miles to set up tents and multiple tables of the most delicious food imaginable while sporting their team colors. The grills serve as a way feed anyone who walks by and also as a hand warmer. Maybe it's the different color palette of the landscape or the fresh-faced chill in the air, but there is definitely something about fall that makes me more aware, more energized, and more thankful for each day. Autumn . . . I think she's pretty fantastic.