I walked into Albertsons on Saturday and was immediately swept away by the almost overwhelming scent of cinnamon and other spices. Suddenly I was assailed by memories and the feeling of déjà vu. Then I looked up and there they were. Pumpkins.
(I stood in the middle of the produce section, my cell phone held out in front of me, so I could take that picture of pumpkins. This is how much you mean to me. Both of you.)
And all the sudden it occurred to me. Fall is here. And sure enough, today's the official first day.
I love the Fall and I absolutely love the holidays. I love Christmas and Thanksgiving and finally having a job that allows me the time off to travel and visit family. I love the rain and Christmas lights and presents and peppermint mochas at Starbucks and the Husband making me feel guilty for not going to Knott's Scary Farm. (I scare easily!) And I love the pumpkin patch.
Even though here in Southern California it's still warm and sunny (as always), I can't help but feel as if there's already a change in the weather, a crispness in the air. It's Fall. Finally.
It's going to get cold soon (I hope) and I'll complain like I do every year. Our apartment will soon turn into an icebox and I'll have to pull out my mini space heaters and place them strategically throughout the apartment (one in the bathroom, the closet, under my desk) and I'll bundle up in multiple layers as if it were 30 degrees out and not actually 70.
But I love it all. The classic holiday movies they play over and over again on television, the parties, the decorations. The candy. The food. Gingerbread houses and insane trips to the beach because my sister's family is in town and they don't get to see the ocean for the mountains of Utah.
And it seems, as I get older, I come to love it more and more each year. I don't want to miss a moment of it. I want to stroll through houses lit up with twinkling lights and go to South Coast Plaza the week before Christmas just to watch the crowds. I want to carve pumpkins and eat too much pie and fall asleep on the couch in a food coma while watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. I want to drink too much wine and play scrabble and get in a fight with my mother and my sister that ends with us laughing so hard there are tears streaming down our faces.
Because those are the best times ever.