Well, somehow in the year of 2020 we’ve made it to September. It feels like only yesterday I was watching Tiger King and making long term plans for my future, and suddenly here we are, over the hump and on the back end of the year from hell and I still don’t think anyone has a clue what’s happening. Bearing all that confusion in mind, I am choosing to focus on celebrating the onset of my favorite time of year, autumn, and continue to live in denial of the fact that it now remains scorchingly, morbidly hot until about Thanksgiving. So drag out your chunky sweaters, your pumpkin spice candles, your DVDs of Hocus Pocus, crank down the air in your house to 64 degrees, wrap up in a cozy blanket and let’s talk about the millennial girl’s Super Bowl, fall time!
First things first, I am highly upset that you girls hijacked my favorite time of year. I blame it on being born on the Winter Solstice, but since I was little I’ve always preferred the colder months over spring and summer. Halloween has always been my most anticipated holiday, even over my own birthday and nothing brings me greater joy than seeing the leaves in the mountains turn to fire before falling to the ground. I was always alone in this, with all my friends moaning and complaining about the cold and living for their next summer beach trip. And then Pinterest happened, and out of the woodwork came the Pumpkin Spice Girls. Seemingly overnight, every woman my age and younger was parading around their social media in their knee high boots and wide brim hats, posing in front of a pumpkin patch or celebrating Girl’s Night In with wine and viewings of their favorite childhood scary movies. While I’m now in good company, the thing that used to make me unique now makes me basic and it drives me nuts. It’s ok, I won’t hold it against you all because Autumn truly is the greatest time of year and I shouldn’t get to bogart it all to myself.
Now that I’ve vented my completely unwarranted anger, let me share my best advice for enjoying all things fall. Depending on rainfall and frost conditions, the leaves tend to start peaking around the 3rd week of October through the 1st week of November. One of the greatest fall experiences I’ve had was on my 1 year (aka my only) anniversary with my ex-husband. I booked a room at a bed & breakfast in Blowing Rock, NC, which is a short 1 hour drive from the Tri-Cities. The whole town was decked out in their best fall flair, with fodder on every lamp post and jack-o-lanterns lining the sidewalks. As the sun set each night, wisps of fog would creep into the streets and the smell of burning wood filled the air. The place was truly like something out of a Hallmark movie and I can’t recommend it enough. If you can’t make it there, we live within a 1 ½ hour radius of the greatest cabins in America. Between Gatlinburg to Asheville and everything in between, do yourself a favor and grab some friends or your significant other, and put down a deposit today on a cabin in the woods for a long weekend. There is no better way to enjoy the autumnal season than cozied up in a rustic cabin making hearty meals, having drinks and enjoying nature.
My love for this time of year really stems from just how much I despise the heat. If I am not submerged in a body of water, there is absolutely no excuse for it to be over 72 degrees. The heat and humidity of East Tennessee is bad enough, but suffering through my second summer in Middle Tennessee is downright oppressive. In fact, the only word that can describe it is flat out gross. I love it when the sun sets at 6p and the temperature drops to 40 degrees. I want to sit by a fire and make s’mores and be able to wrap up in a blanket. I want to enjoy a bourbon that warms my chilled bones on a back porch, not get so flushed and sweaty my date thinks I’m having a medical issue.
We also need to face facts and admit that for men and women alike, fall fashion is THE best. In the summertime I’m forced to expose my bingo wings and cellulite or else I’ll die of a heat stroke. When the temperature drops though, I’m able to tactically cover my flaws and imperfections and, even more importantly, through the power of oversized hoodies, I can even run errands sans bra! For gentleman, there is nothing manlier than a guy in a great pair of jeans and boots paired with flannel or a leather jacket. And now that I think about it, that’s also a great uniform for women! Hands down, cold weather wardrobe trumps warm weather every time.
Let’s all just pretend that we’re mere weeks away from spooky season and that it’s not actually going to be 95 degrees until we’re pulling the turkey out of the oven. Honestly considering how quickly this year has flown by, we’re going to blink and it will be Christmas. This year has been one of back-to-back curveballs so who knows what is even going to happen between now and the official first day of autumn. If you’re like me and you just need a little glimmer of hope and fun, close the blinds, crank down the air, slap on a hoodie and toboggan, make a crockpot full of soup, pile up on your couch and pray we solve global warming. I’m officially deeming September 1st the day we all start enjoying fall. You’re welcome.