Falling in love with fall.

Having survived The Summer of 2011 in Texas, otherwise known as My Summer Staycation in Hades, I breathed a cool sigh of relief this morning. It was the first official day of fall. Official, because it was the first day that I turned the heat on.

After three straight months of tank tops and temperatures over 100 degrees, I am doing the happy dance at the sight of a thermometer sporting 65 this morning. I am a pretty princess after all, and pretty princesses do not sweat. At least we prefer not to, of course.

Today was also the first day my dog looked at me with the what-do-you-mean-I-have-to-stay-outside-for-the-love-of-God-woman-it’s-cold-out-here” look. But she is a dog, not a pretty princess. She likes her nature up close and personal. Me? I like to look at it thru the front window. Especially the leaves.

I live in a very old neighborhood where the trees were planted in the 1920s. Now the trees tower over all of our homes, and in the fall they brighten our lives with a palette of every shape, size and color. Richly toned leaves gather in our yards. On our cars. In the rain gutter. They make Sunday papers mysteriously vanish, to be rediscovered three months later buried under a mountain of leafy debris and roly-polys.

I think about all the money I’m going to pay to my teenage son to rake them.

One of the most thrilling events of the fall season is the Annual Switching Out of the Closet. Oh, the adrenaline rush of rediscovering that chunky pink sweater that I forgot I had, when I packed it away last spring. And those luscious gray suede boots. The velvet crop jacket. The matching cap and gloves with carefully knitted jewel-toned flowers. I’m in love with fall clothes.

And, maybe it’s just me, but isn’t it all too exciting when you put on your skinny cords for the first time in the fall, and they fit? What? I didn’t eat one too many ice cream cones this summer? And one can never have too many scarves. Or coats with furry collars. Or turtlenecks. Or Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Am I right?

After assessing the good, bad, and what-was-I-thinking of my cold-weather clothing, it’s the ceremonial putting on of that first layered outfit that really warms my heart.

And that day was today. The first official day of fall.

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