Labor Day has come and gone and my white slacks and capris and summer –colored clothes are put away for the year. While some say the first cool evening, the return of the kids to school or the first fallen leaf signify fall has arrived, for me it's the "no white clothing after Labor Day" rule. Women of my age, you know what I'm talking about right? Fall does not come before Labor Day for me.
I have found there are two types of people in my life.
First there are the people like my daughter who love fall. Actually they are obsessed with fall. When the July full moon (called the Buck Moon, Hay Moon or Thunder Moon) appears, I think it is a nice way to light a summer evening around a fire with friends. However, fall people like my daughter see that moon as a pumpkin-shaped beacon shining from above and get itchy to head to Hobby Lobby or Walmart to lay in autumnal decorations.
By the time the first school bus wheels hit the pavement in her neighborhood, she has wreaths of red and orange and brown leaves up on her door and in her home, spicy apple cinnamon Scentsies lit everywhere, and is carrying around a pumpkin-spiced latte on her errands around town despite the fact it is 95 degrees outside. Fall people are enthusiastic about football games and will be standing around the fence of the local high schools wearing their fall boots, heavy school hoodies, and cute knit hats all while eating pork barbecue sandwiches, caramel apples, and drinking hot chocolate.
This will be while I sit in the stands in a sundress with an ice cold Pepsi having an ice cream sandwich for dinner and asking my husband to fan me with the program of 80 boys who are melting themselves under mounds of pads on the field.
Fall people love a good fire in a fire pit, a campground, or family room fireplace. Piles of leaves, Halloween and pumpkin carving, and dressing in elaborate Halloween costumes are their thing. They and their kids always win the costume contests hands down and they show off their winning trophies at the local Trunk or Treat or tailgate parties amidst the chili cook-off winners, the candycorn/peanut mix, and football shaped iced sugar cookies.
Fall people love to hunt animals ''in season'' as the season marches on toward Thanksgiving.
Then there are we spring and summer people. Our seed catalogs arrive around the Super Bowl and we start our seedlings in little pots inside by St. Patrick's Day. We plant peas and beans and peppers and tomatoes and herbs outside as early as we can, dragging tarps and sheets out to cover them on the few nights that dare to dip below freezing.
We love the first smell of warm earth on the first sunny spring day. We measure time by watching the progression of flowers blooming and our gardens coming to life. First the crocus, then the daffodils, then the various tulips -- early, mid, late blooming -– breaking through. Lilacs, lilies of the valley, iris, roses, daylilies, dahlias, gerber daisies all blooming when they should. We cheer when football and basketball end and rush to be in the stands for the opening day of baseball. Flowered or red, white, and blue decorations adorn our doors.
We can't wait to drag out the grill and have a cookout for all. We attend the parades, baseball games, and outdoor concerts basking in the sunshine while in our shorts, sunhats, and sunglasses. We organize picnics, water balloon fights, and days at the lake boating and fishing and swimming. We prolong summer and refuse to believe fall comes any earlier than autumnal equinox.
To us fall means death of our beauty and bounty in the yards and fields. The winds seem too fierce, the temps too cold, and pumpkin-flavored everything too nauseating.
It's after Labor Day and the leaves are making their descent to the yards and roads below. We spring/summer people in our dark-colored clothing pass the baton to our fall type friends. Enjoy your season. We'll see you after the Super Bowl.
Debbie Furman is a wife, mother, grandmother, engineer and long-time Decatur resident.