Fall: Why It’s So Critical to the South


Fall brings with it crisp air and that nostalgic feeling that is un-paralleled any other time of the year. It makes you want to cozy up with some cider, maybe a good book, or even better, your love, by the fireplace.  It’s filled with day-dreamy days of wanderlust and a sort of peaceful bliss.

At least…that’s what you’re supposed to experience. 

If you don’t believe in global warming, just come down to the south.  I don’t know about the rest of you excited and blissfully traipsing around, falling over pumpkin flavored pumpkin, but down here, the Fall craze is real, as in, life or death real, and it’s because any hint of summer relief is absolutely critical to our survival.  People who visit from out of town don’t understand why we’re so intensely desperate to experience Fall.  It’s not just comfort.  It’s survival.  In the same way that the topic of weather is never a casual, fallback topic; it IS the conversation down here.

That’s why when the temperature dips below 85 degrees to a slightly, barely noticeable, still not exactly tolerable (can you say humidity?!) 80 degrees, our hideous UGGs come out, ponchos are thrown over tank tops, infinity scarves are strewn about to catch the sweat and tears that pour out over the strange mismatched sight of bright blooming flowers, green trees and ridiculously inappropriate holiday décor that will forever look out of place, and we all become insane, starved addicts at the sight of an orange leaf or at the whisper of ‘pumpkin.’

We have to FORCE a Fall transition.  A sad task, indeed, but one that is necessary so that we might, more sanely, prepare for the pending 85 degree Christmas holidays lurking at our festive, pumpkin-invaded doorsteps.  Oh dear lord!  NO!  Please, make the madness stop!!! 

Friends from overseas, up north and out west that come down here try to navigate the confusion and hell that is southern weather.  They speak of experiences trying to transition without knowing the Summer-Fall, hell, even winter, invisible cutoff, because it is entirely illogical.  My calendar says October.  My wardrobe that has been sitting in storage all year says warm, cute, fall colors and layers await.  My feet crave boots and fluffy socks.  Logic, and my internal Autumnal clock tell me, it’s go time, snuggle down.  But, I step outside, and the sun is blazing, and my face that I worked so hard to put on to look cute while taking pictures holding my PSL next to some pumpkins melts off, instantly.  What gives??  I mean, how long can a person wear active wear.  Really?

No, we simply don’t get the privilege to truly experience Fall.  See, it’s just like colors.  You get red, and you get yellow.  Red is summer.  Yellow is winter.  We experience just the tiniest sliver of orange overlap, and that’s what we crave.

Our Fall sickness is only going to get worse.  As the temperature goes up year after year, you’ll see more pumpkins and gourds out on porches, much earlier in the season, as we try to appease the gods to bring the boiling mercury down on our tired and tempered thermometers.

I thought that when we moved slightly further north, that we might see just a hint of cooler weather and relief.  However, we were entirely wrong, as we both continue to sit here, fry, and bitch about being hot, day after day, under the southern sun.

Here’s what it looks like down here – it’s beautiful in the mountains for maybe two weeks, although that gets shorter and shorter, and more unpredictable, every year.  Everywhere else – we have green trees one day, then they are DEAD, on the ground, the next.  There’s no warning.  And, if it rains or a light breeze blows, you better forget it!  Everything.  On the ground.  Just.  Dead.  Naked.  Bare bones.  Skeleton trees.  AND – it’s still 80 degrees!!

Oh well.  At least we have the random three-day freeze to look forward to around Valentine’s Day.  For now, I’ll just turn my air conditioner down to a nice, crisp 65 degrees, put on my snuggle sweater, brew some coffee, and binge watch every show or movie on Netflix that might reveal a hint of Fall color.



pumpkins-936513_1920 (1)





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *