We've been at the apple orchard a couple of times so far this fall, which is one of the ways that you know it's fall. Autumn has now replaced winter as my favorite season. Winter is just too cold for my old bones these days. Summer has always been a drag - you can always add clothing, but there is only so much you are allowed to take off, and even when you exceed that you end up just Way. Too. Hot. Spring is nice, but rather bland and far too cheery - it's kind of unsettling that way. When autumn rolls around the air gets a nice chill in it. Sometimes - less and less often in our highly litigious society, alas - you can even smell leaves burning. And there is apple cider - real, dark brown, bordering-on-chewy apple cider, so sweet it hurts and so tart it hurts just that much more.
It just isn't fall without apple cider.
Or pumpkins, I suppose. The girls have been very excited about pumpkins and gourds, and have amassed quite a collection of them now. We've got green ones, white ones, yellow ones and black ones. Round ones, acorn-shaped ones, fluted ones, and one sort of "siamese twin" one whose final shape is rather unfortunate but remains so far just a little above the heads of the girls. We've got pumpkins and "bumpkins" - those knobby pumpkin-shaped gourds. Eventually we will go get a Big Pumpkin, the sort of thing that Linus Van Pelt looked for in vain all those years, and stab it to death. Then we'll scoop out its innards, carve designs into its flesh, and light a candle inside of it.
Ah, the innocent joys of fall.