Living in California, you almost forget that there is a Fall season in between the summer months of endless daylight and the winter months of endless night. Every small moment in between, you start to notice as the party invitations start to increase where you dress nicely and the ones where you bring a bathing suit stop coming. But we in the golden state forget sometimes, once the days begin to grow dark and the winds pick up, that this is one of the wonderful times of the year. Now, we arrange rides with friends up into the mountains to go pumpkin picking in October or start to collect apples to start brewing cider.
The kitchens change just as dramatically too you know, the Pimm's is put away, the silver julep glasses are wrapped up in old newspaper and stowed away in boxes to be pulled out in May and with the seasons, come the change of produce. The older folks start to store corn to dry out to make the cornucopias and the younger folks start to stock up on body-revitalizing whiskey. The season of the hamburger is no longer here and with all the time spent indoors, extra time and care goes into the cooking of meat, smoking of turkey and preparation of vegetables and fruits.
Personally, I think I love the change in weather the most. No longer do I sit in my office chair working sweltering under the heat sticking to it but with a blanket over my shoulders, fighting those occasional leaks of cold air from the outdoors. Watching the wind swept trees sets into my head the romantic notion of what this cold blustery weather is best for. Staying indoors with a clear, steaming mug of apple cider with a stick of cinnamon poking out from it.
Now is when the time comes when friends want to go out for more dinners, hanging around in the cafe rather than on the patio, hands nursing an Irish coffee. Warm, silky and delicious as it goes down. The taste of Baileys mingles down your throat and fall when you're older than 21 is a godsend. My recollections of fall as an undergrad were running down to the grocery store that was around the corner from where I lived, picking up a jug of Santa Cruz apple cider, a box of mulling spices and running back to my place with my ex. Throw the juice into a pot, warm it up a bit, throw in a few satchels of mulling spices and let it brew for about a half hour. That was the best stuff ever, downing it, sitting on the couch with a romantic movie on and watching the sky go from steel grey to lamp black.
I've lived in different places over the years at Berkeley and I think this last place may be the most difficult to work with in this weather. Leaky windows, just drafts everywhere. So I have to find myself ways to keep warm. Electrically, or kerosene or mentally. I think by that last one, I have to mean keeping my head warm working on either my manuscript or working on a typewriter, coming up with entries for my typecasting blog.
But I love that everyone starts to dress a little bit more properly. Yoga pants, khakis, jeans, pea coats, duffel coats, anoraks, and scarves. Silk, cashmere, wool, poly blends, it's all good! It's fall and what matters most is you all stay warm and hold that special someone extra tight.