What’s not to love about fall?

Fall and spring are my favorite seasons. I think it’s a Maine thing or something I developed after moving to Maine as a small child. My father told me that one of my first falls here, I told him I like fall because fall is summer saying goodbye slowly.

Summers in Maine are so special — nothing you’d want disappearing overnight.

That was my first reason for loving fall. Over the years I’ve developed many more. I’m sure this list is missing a few, and I may have to update it. Feel free to add your own in the comment section!

Leaves beginning to turn. BDN photo by Julia Bayly

Leaves beginning to turn. BDN photo by Julia Bayly

1.  The foliage — obvious, but needs to be said.

2.  The sharp decrease in tourist traffic — suddenly the beaches and coastal routes are tolerable again!

3.  Cool nights and warm days — the kind of weather that brings out the best in people.

4.  Serving hunters breakfast in the wee hours of the morning back when I was a breakfast waitress in high school. There are morning people and then there are Maine hunters on a crisp, early autumn morning — those are happy people!

5.  The kids go back to school — don’t tell my remaining minor child I said that! Truth be told, this one doesn’t count for me this year because it is my youngest’s senior year. His return to school means I will soon be saying goodbye to the school-age phase of parenting, which makes me kind of sad. I may not be the default “soccer mom” if there is such a thing, but I love being a mom.

6.  Jack-o-lanterns and homemade Halloween costumes back when the kids were little — again with the boohooing over years gone by.

7.  The storms and storm surf, which remind me — much like the tempests of adolescents — that it’s time for things to change.

8.  The ocean feels warmer in the fall, though it’s not looking good for me getting in any fall swimming. I encourage anyone who loves swimming in the ocean to get a good dip in sometime in September or October. Once I went in on this bizarrely warm Leap Day, but that’s not fall-related, and my kids thought I was crazy …

9.  All things apple, especially my homemade apple cake and apple pie — is not the smell of fresh apples mixing with cinnamon and other ingredients in the oven one of the best smells ever?!

10.  Political campaigns — NOT! This one is intended as comic relief and contrast: #7 is the sweet and #8 is the unpalatably sour. Here’s hoping some future fall election cycle is more than just toxic waste poisoning a beautiful time of year.

11.  The feeling of that favorite sweater or flannel shirt when you slip it on for the first time — the one that’s getting threadbare, but you can’t bare to throw it out. I have a few such favorites, but my favorite, favorite one is a thick linen/cotton blend cardigan that will make me cry when it is unable to take any more stitching to hold it together.

12.  The occasional smell of marijuana ready to be harvested somewhere near where you are driving.

13.  Fewer to no mosquitoes — thank you cool nights.

14.  The bird migrations and fall habits of other creatures. We’re so lucky to live in a state where we can watch such things.

Patricia Callahan

About Patricia Callahan

Trish is a writer who lives in Augusta. She has worked professionally in education and social services.