Autumn. Fall. Whatever you choose to call it, we are entering into a season of change. And just as the season changes, the weather changes and our mood begins to change. The days become shorter, going outside requires layering, and our yards require raking. There is much to be appreciated though. If you are not a fan of autumn, you may not know what you have been missing.
Here are 20 reasons to help you to embrace the season:
• Many people hold seasonal beliefs such as “I don’t feel as well in the winter” or “Autumn only leads to winter.” Research has shown that those people who have such beliefs are more likely to become depressed in the winter. These thoughts can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. People who dread winter are more likely not to enjoy fall. Finding reasons to enjoy the season may improve how you feel about the change in seasons.
• The world is colorful and orange is everywhere. We are lucky enough to live in a part of the country that puts on a display of fall color. Our fall foliage is picture-perfect beautiful. Get out and take some photos!
• Autumn smells are everywhere. Bonfires, smoke from the neighbor’s chimney, the damp leaves in the woods, and all the wonderful things being created in the kitchen permeate the air.
• Garden harvests. This time of year we enjoy the bounty of our garden or our neighbor’s garden! The farmers market offers us plenty of fresh vegetables. If you are not a fan of canning, try out some simple recipes, such as refrigerator pickles, or try freezing some of your garden fare.
• Warm drinks. Pumpkin spice lattes, maple lattes, hot apple cider, hot chocolate with marshmallows, or a hot cup of tea are some of my favorites to heat things up.
• Seasonal treats. At least once during the season, I make caramel apples. When my kids were little, they would decorate them with M&Ms or mini chocolate chips. I bake pumpkin muffins, zucchini bread, apple crisp, and mix up a batch of my favorite snack mix of peanuts, candy corn, and M&Ms. During fall, you can find seasonal favorites, like apple cider donuts, on the store shelf too.
A single red leaf, a prelude to the display of colors that the fall season brings to the area.
• Soups. Hurray for soup season! It is the ultimate comfort food. It is this time of year when I search for new soup recipes. At least once a week, you will find a big pot of soup on the stove. Chili and cornbread are also favorites. Preparing warm meals of soup, paired with fresh bread, help to make us feel cozy and warm on a chilly day.
• Layering weather. It is that time of year for flannels, plaids, big sweaters, and all the cozy layers that will keep us warm. Fall fashion can be fun!
• Pies. Nothing says fall like a piece of warm apple or pumpkin pie. If you are feeling adventurous, try something new like a galette. Galettes are much easier than they look. Try store-bought crust to make it even simpler. Having guests over for dinner? Bake an apple pie or bake a store-bought one and drizzle it with caramel sauce before serving. I guarantee it will be a hit.
• All the pumpkins. Pumpkins, pumpkins, everywhere! A visit to the pumpkin patch is one of the best ways to get in the fall spirit. Invite family over and have a pumpkin-carving contest. It doesn’t matter how old you are, you will have fun. Don’t forget to bake the pumpkin seeds.
• Being outdoors during the fall allows you to take in the colors and to enjoy the crisp, cool air without the bugs. It is a great time of the year to take a walk or go hiking. Fishing is great in the fall. For many people, it is their favorite time of the year to camp. Hunting, often a family tradition, is a popular activity here in the north woods.
• Decorating your home for fall by hanging a seasonal wreath on the door, decorating the yard or front porch with pumpkins, and adding a fall doormat to welcome visitors.
• Seasonal candles add a touch of warmth and coziness to your home. There are many fall scents from which to choose.
• Fall is a time to slow down. Ask your friends for good book recommendations. I just started reading Louise Penny’s Chief Inspector Gamche series and I love it! Download some new podcasts, and check out a new series on Netflix.
• Fall flowers. Fall mums are my favorite, and although they don’t last long in our climate, I still like to buy a few to decorate the front porch. The orange, bronze, yellow and creamy white colors look pretty on the front step.
• Take a scenic drive. Pack up the car with lunch and a thermos of coffee and go for a drive to go leaf peeping. You can find plenty of places along the way to
have a picnic lunch.
• Go thrifting or antiquing. If you are looking for a project, restore or paint an antique piece of furniture
• Go to an apple orchard and pick your own apples. Make homemade applesauce or apple butter.
• Be thankful! Thanksgiving belongs to fall and it is one of my favorite holidays. It is a day to spend with family and friends, to talk, laugh, and to fill your plate. It is also a time to reflect on how much we have to be thankful for.
• Celebrate the following days: Guacamole Day—September 16, Cheeseburger Day—September 18, Gratitude Day—September 21, Pepperoni Pizza Day—September 20, Chai Day—September 21, First Day of Fall—September 22, Apple Day—September 26, Coffee Day—September 29, and Mulled Cider Day—September 30.
Happy fall, y’all!
Jody Rae is a social worker who lives in both Britt and Ely, MN. She spends most of her time on the water or in the woods, where she is always planning her next adventures, both near and far.