An Ode to Autumn
No, winter is not the most wonderful time of the year. At least not here, in Western New York. Unless, of course, you like to ski, shovel your driveway, or just hang out in the snow. Sadly, I really don’t enjoy any “fun” winter activities, but maybe my kids will help change that. Yet, I still live in this area known for the cold and snow. I suppose that’s because I grew up here. Don’t get me wrong I love it here, but I do not love the snow. Thirty two years of enduring the snow has gotten me rather used to it, though. I can tolerate the rough winters. The weather for the rest of the year is quite nice. In fact, in all honesty I kind of enjoy the cold and a little snow through the holiday season. But after New Year’s hits I’m usually ready to be done with it.
While I may not love Buffalo winters, I do love fall. This is, in fact, the most wonderful time of the year in my opinion. The leaves change colors and flutter to the ground, the temperature begins to cool, and football is back. We had such a hot summer this year that I couldn’t wait for the arrival of autumn. Whenever I’d mention that I’d get some evil looks. People around here generally seem to like autumn, but we all know that it means the snow isn’t too far off. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a little different. First off, I like summertime for a while, but I don’t love the heat. 70s are good, but anything over 80 is too hot for me unless I’m on a beach or in a pool.
I am happy to trade the sweaty summer for some comfortable fall weather that welcomes a hoodie and jeans. Bring on the apple cider, Oktoberfest beers, and comfort food. I no longer have Buffalo Bills season tickets, but these are the days when I miss them. These are the perfect football weather fall days; when you wear your jersey over your hooded sweatshirt and toss the football around while the hot dogs cook on the grill.
I recently sat beside a bonfire with a beer in hand at my friend Ben’s house. I love gazing into the dancing flames of a hot fire. Ever notice how conversation is best beside a fire? I’m pretty sure it’s a fact. A bonfire in summer can be nice, but it can’t compare to one in the fall when you actually appreciate the heat of the fire.
Fall’s also a great time for family-friendly activities. We went to an orchard to do some apple picking a couple weeks ago with some friends and their kids. Apparently it would have been a better idea in September considering there were about six apples left in the trees. It was still nice being out there, though.
Sometimes it’s the little things that are most enjoyable, those seemingly simple undertakings. For example, I think this is a great time to fit in a family walk. Ashley and I like to put the kids in the double stroller (unless we’re confident Noah’s tractor battery is fully charged) and bring along our dog for a short walk around the block. Noelle loves her walks, but sometimes it was actually too hot for that this past summer.
Like I said, autumn here often has my ideal weather, but not always. This is a season of erratic weather in Western New York. As I write this were in the middle of 48 straight hours of rain. It’s about 50 degrees outside, yet it was 75 just a few days ago. Heck, several years ago we had the October Storm, which dropped two feet of snow on parts of the area in the middle of October. So, you really don’t know what to expect around here.
While the weather changes often this time of year and we do have our bad days, the good days easily outweigh the bad. If nothing else, it can be very interesting to see how it changes from day to day. The temperature is still usually comfortable out and calls for cozy clothing. In addition, the smells and sights of the colorful trees and falling leaves are enticing enough to sit outside, relax, and take it all in. That’s especially the case if you happen to have an Oktoberfest beer in hand. So, enjoy autumn while it’s still here. There’s still fun to be had before the snow arrives.