How’re Dem Seasons? Summ’er Not As Good As Others

When I was younger, as should be the case with every red-blooded American child, my favorite season was summer.

As I’ve gotten older, that’s become less and less true.

These days, as I’ve written before, my favorite season is fall.

Ironically, this year more than ever, my preferences are inspired by the same factors as they used to be, but with opposite results.

As I child, fall marked the beginning of the school year. Vacation was over, and it was time to go back to the daily drudge. When those days became a thing of the past, they left a mental mark that has stayed with me. While I used to dislike the end of vacation, the annual transition left me with a lasting sense of fall as a time of change, of new beginnings. The sort of association most people have with spring of hope and newness is very much something I associate with autumn instead. Every year, there’s a day where there’s a crispness to the air that makes it feel like fall has truly arrived, and with it there’s a sense that anything is possible.

On the other hand, as a kid, I loved summer for the fact that it meant that school is out. Fast-forward to today, when I’ve been working for the last nine months as a substitute teacher. The end of the school year doesn’t mark the beginning of a vacation — I’m still working at the Depot, but it means no subbing, which means less work, which means less income. Seven-year-old me, I’m sure, would have never imagined that three decades later, I’d be bemoaning the beginning of summer vacation, but that’s adulthood in a nutshell.

Plus, as sad as it is, as I get older, summer increasingly becomes about one thing:


It’s the time of the annual struggles with my air-conditioner, of days where outdoor fun is just a lot less fun, of having to change clothes after work to get through the rest of the day. That has to be proof of global warming, because the only other possible explanation is that I’m just becoming grouchier as I age.

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of fun things to do in summer — grill out, go to the beach, visit an amusement park, and so on and so forth.

I just prefer to do them all in the fall.

Didn’t Fall With The Fall

I’ve missed the beginning of fall by a day or two, but wanted to re-publish this post I wrote two years ago.

Those that know me know that I don’t really do favorites. I don’t have a favorite color, or a favorite food, or whatever. I recently had trouble accessing a computer account because it asked my favorite color as a security question and I had no idea what I had answered.

But, increasingly, I think fall may be my favorite season. Part of that is pragmatic — I prefer the more agreeable temperature to the heat of summer or the cold of winter. For me, fall is the most likely season to have a day that’s just perfect.

The funny thing, though, is that part of it is for a reason that’s completely irrelevant. Going outside on a day that’s archetypically fall to me, on a day that just feels like fall, I can’t help but be taken back to the feeling of beginning a new school year.

Fall weather takes me back to that feeling, of starting something new, of unlimited possibilities, of anticipation of meeting new people, doing new things, getting a fresh start. Even though it’s been more than a couple of years since I started a new school year, that feeling remains.

And, really, there have been a few times in my adult life that have reinforced that — I graduated from college and moved to Indianola in August, so was very much experiencing the new that fall. Two years later, I moved from Indianola to Houston in early October. I moved back to Huntsville in the month of August, and moved into my house the following fall.

It’s a good feeling, and a good reminder — that, even now, there are unlimited possibilities, fresh starts, and new beginnings; that there are new friends to make, new places to explore and unwritten adventures just waiting around the corner to be had.

When I Fall

Welcome to autumn!

I wrote a post last year about it being the first day of fall, and wanted to do so again this year.

In fact, I considered just republishing last year’s post, but it just didn’t seem right.

Oh, sure, there’s all that good sciencey stuff explaining about the first day of fall being the autumnal equinox when Earth’s subsolar point crosses the equator. And my basic feelings about fall (which were also the subject of a Reconstruction post earlier this year) as, moreso than spring, a time of fresh starts and new beginnings still apply this year as well.

That said, yeah, this year, I’m just not feeling it yet. And I think a good bit of that is literal. There’s a particular sort of day I associate with the beginning of fall — sun shining, weather cooler, a slight crisp breeze — and so far, we haven’t had a day that just really struck me as being fall.

And that may be the reason that I’m just not in the same place emotionally, either, but I’m not. It’s harder at the moment seeing this as a time when new beginnings are right around the corner. And that’s not a bad thing at all, I’m going into the fall at a place where I’m actually pretty content with the status quo; I don’t feel quite the need for something new that I did the last three or so autumns.

Who knows, the weather may change soon, and I may get that old fall feeling again.

As it is, I’m just looking forward to seeing a little more color.