Fall Is Was Is My Fave

Starting the year after moving to northern states in my 20s, fall has usually been my favorite season.  My hometown New Orleans really only has two seasons: summer and not-summer. Living in Wisconsin, Illinois and Maryland has taught me the beauty of four seasons, especially the colors and anticipatory chill in the air in the fall.

Fifteen years ago, however, I came to hate fall and that feeling lingered for many years.

Fall 2000: an awesome vacation in Arizona and Utah in September, beautiful tree colors in October on the acre and a half property where I had moved a few months before, a pleasant Thanksgiving Day with a roaring fire in the fireplace in November followed by a nice drama-free Christmas and much less than usual holiday depression.

I love fall.

Fall 2001: terrorists attack on September 11, my parents move into a nursing home on October 5, my dad dies on November 11, all of which ramps up to the usually emotional rollercoaster of the holiday season. I was numb and depressed through most of that fall. My then-wife was initially supportive when dad died, but she didn't travel with me to the funeral. In fact she had never been to my hometown with me at that point and never did meet dad. Then one day during my depression-filled holidays, she said something like 'get over it'. I don't remember my exact screaming response but I do remember not saying another word to her for several days. And I haven't forgiven her to this day.

I hate fall.

A few years after that horrible fall, I did begin to appreciate the season again. I knew one day I would leave the semi-rural property and return to the near-in suburban life I wanted, but for a few fall seasons I focused my thoughts, eyes and camera on the Japanese red maples and huge oak trees in the back yard, the two yellow maples in the front yard and the changing color palette in the nearby town. I noted the welcome chill in the air. Living in the country makes you aware of even the subtle seasonal changes like shorter days; your senses become your calendar.

I love fall.

The fall during which I finally decided to move and live MY life was a major positive turning point. I found my apartment in November, moved in December and was actually happy to celebrate Christmas alone that year. I smile when I remember digging through the moving boxes in search of a radio or CD player for some Christmas music while making a turkey sandwich.

I love fall.

The next fall was even better. That's when I met the certain someone I sometimes refer to in this blog but haven't fully celebrated here yet. Don't worry, I will.

I really love fall.