The most wonderful time of the year…

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You know those people who live for summer? The ones who spend every free second outdoors, and who somehow manage to maintain a Chicken McNugget tan year round? Who delight in discovering new ways to prepare food on the grill? Who start wearing shorts well before last frost, when it’s still so cold they absolutely have to pair them with a sweater or sweatshirt lest they freeze to death?

I am not one of those people.

It’s not that I hate summer, per se. It’s that I hate being hot and sticky. I hate getting bitten up my mosquitos. I don’t do sleeveless anything. I dread battling my husband over mowing the lawn. Grass is my number one allergen; I spend the months between April and October requiring a variety of prescription and OTC medications to manage the itchy-scratchy-stuffy-watery hell that happens every. single. day.

So while millions mourn the loss of summer, and the salt life death knell of pumpkin spice everything, I grow infinitely happier the deeper we dive into September. As summer lovers head indoors, I head out. Chilly nights are perfect for walking. Cool, crisp mornings beg for a hot beverage in a travel mug.

Ahh, the harbingers of fall! Leaves turning. Cider mulling. And yes, pumpkin spice everything. I can’t be the only one who rejoices at the return of sweater weather, can I?

Even though we had a relatively mild summer here in Delaware, it’s been warm enough that fall was pretty far from my mind. Sure, I’d eaten the first ceremonial Reese’s pumpkin. Joe brought home not one but two pumpkin pie donuts from Dunkies.

EW Fall TV Preview 2014Then on Friday, it arrived. The new issue of Entertainment Weekly. My favorite of the entire year: the Fall TV Preview. As an unabashed fan of television both good and trashy, I love reading up on the new offerings and deciding which ones merit my viewing time. Plus, there are teasers for returning favorites (can you say The Good Wife?)

Friday night, the BFF and I walked off the most delicious ghee-and-cream-laden Indian dinner evar (at India Palace). It was a gorgeous night – no mosquitos, no humidity, a little bit of breeze. And someone in the neighborhood had a fire going, so the air smelled like wood smoke. (Seriously, is there anything better?)

The next day, the hubs and I made our monthly sojourn to Trader Joe’s and were greeted by a huge bin of pumpkins. We filled our cart with the spoils of the season. Brussels sprouts, a sugar pumpkin, lots of squash (butternut and acorn). Yes, I know I can get these things year round – and sometimes I do. But now they’re in season. Now is the time of year when food turns hearty, warm, and comforting. And oh! The best part of all: the return of TJ’s Organic Canned Pumpkin. Have you had this stuff? It puts Libby’s to shame. Seriously, it tastes fresh, not canned.

Finally, I was flipping through a magazine that had a fashion spread on plaid. Plaid. Plaid. I love plaid. I love plaid skirts with tights and black sweaters. I love plaid pajamas. I love plaid flannel shirts. I mean, if fall tastes like pumpkin, and smells like bonfire, its uniform is undoubtedly plaid.

I know people are already talking about what a long, hard winter we have coming. And the price of home heating oil is enough to give me a minor-league heart attack. But you know what? We’re so close to full-on fall that I can’t even care.

Yep, I’m falling in love with fall all over again. Worrying about winter will have to wait for another day.

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