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It’s the first week of fall!

Would you like an apple?

Would you like an apple?

I woke up Wednesday thinking about the myriad ways that I want to celebrate the season. They are all clichés, so I won’t bore you with them here. Suffice it to say, though, that there is a trip to the farmers’ market in my near future, and a pot of soup soon to be simmering on my stove. I absolutely love autumn, for its coziness, its settling-in, its ability to sweetly usher in the slowest of seasons with warm drinks and sweaters.

Last year, I really struggled to come to terms with the North Coast’s version of fall. While there are changing leaves inland – often found in orderly rows of grape vines – the microclimate of the coast waits for rain and steady fog to signal the changing seasons. The much-needed rains never appeared last year in this drought-ridden state; though there were a couple of newsworthy storms, they packed up and departed pretty quickly, leaving behind sunny skies once again.

...but wait. This doesn't look like fall.

…but wait. This doesn’t look like fall.

Coming from the east coast, I crave something more drastic to announce the change in seasons. Whereas the temperature drops notably on that side of the country, the weather here is always somewhat autumnal. I am as likely to wear a sweatshirt in July as I am in January (and, confusingly, usually with flip-flops).

This was last November. November! Come on.

This was last November. November! Come on.

That doesn’t really fit with my vision of fall, in which I’m suddenly transformed into the equivalent of an Anthropologie model, wearing various patterns of cotton and wool and corduroy, layer upon layer protecting me from a constant shower of falling leaves. In my imagination, my hands wrap around a mug – no, maybe a metal, army green thermos – and I laugh, showing off my perfect teeth.

At least there's squash. (Year-round, it seems.)

At least there’s squash. (Year-round, it seems.)

In my reality, of course, I slept through three alarms on the first day of fall, and burrowed down further into my oh-so-soft sheets, finally waking up too late to do much of anything besides grab a coffee. And needless to say, there’s not a falling leaf in sight.

Oh, well. This year, I’m not going to wait for someone else – take that, Mother Nature! – to tell me its time to cuddle down and snuggle in. Though I’m tempted to fly east to soak up a few days of the autumn I know to love, I’ll instead stay right where I am, confusingly wearing flip-flops with my sweatshirt, finding my own ways to celebrate the season I can’t help but adore.

Admittedly, the first sunset of fall was pretty spectacular...ok, I can be on board with this.

Admittedly, the first sunset of fall was pretty spectacular…ok, I can be on board with this.

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