Moments / Thoughts

My Annual Fall Nostalgia Post

A pretty DC street
Old photo from Washington D.C. 2009. Kind of amazing to look at my photos from back then–so blurry most of them!

Thank you all so much for the amazing comments, suggestions and feedback on my last post.  It was truly wonderful to hear from people who’ve taken similar social situations and forged their own way.  I think it’s very telling of the character of the commenters on this blog that nearly every one of you spoke of starting your own group in the place you were–so many action-oriented, fun-loving people!  You guys inspire me and I’m happy to say that my ad for a toddler group will be in the next Embassy newsletter and I hosted a play date yesterday for a couple of little boys and their Mamas.  Plans have been in the works for a while now to host a sort of family friendly Happy Hour and brunch pretty much since we got here, but now I’m even more motivated to just make it happen.  All thanks to you.  Now I just wish I could invite you all over for brunch too!

I’ve done this before on this site and if you’ve ever met me in person between the months of September and November, there is an outstanding chance that I’ve made at least one or two comments wistfully romanticizing a good North American autumn.

Right now it’s still close to 100 degrees everyday in New Delhi but the mornings are strangely almost cool.  Until about 7:30am it’s quite comfortable to walk around the grounds sipping a cup of coffee (me) chasing tabby cats (Will) while wearing a pair of sweat pants (me) or a long sleeve shirt and no pants (Will).

And between the sweat pants in the early mornings and Pinterest regurgitating all sorts of seasonal cheer all over my computer screen, it’s time for my annual “I miss Fall!” post.

I love living overseas.  9 months out of the year, I think living overseas is way more fun/interesting/exciting/easier than living in America.

But, in my unbiased, highly expert opinion, the months between the start of the school year and Thanksgiving weekend are more beautiful in American than anywhere else in the entire world.  It’s a fact.  I think most foreigners who’ve ever seen the stunning red and gold speckled mountain ridge lines of the mid-Atlantic or the riots of colors and apple harvests from Maine all the way to Minnesota would completely agree.

Three times now I’ve left America right before my favorite part of the year and every time the nostalgic memories of my North American childhood come back to haunt me just a little.  I think to myself that, if and when we ever live in the United States again, I will live Fall to it’s fullest for as long as we are there.  There will be hay rides and hot apple cider and haunted houses and leaf piles and apple orchard visits and windows thrown wide open to let it in the crisp fall breezes while I sit at a counter huddled up in a huge sweater with my hands wrapped around a mug of something hot and seasonal.  Or maybe just my usual cup of black coffee–but in some sort of fall flavor like pumpkin spice or something else that smells delicious (and likely tastes terrible as flavored coffees are wont to do).

But until then, here’s what I’m dreaming of during my early morning Fall reveries:

The faintly sweet and musty smell of fallen leaves blanketing the sidewalks outside my parents  home and the sounds of school kids and neighbors crunching and swishing their ways through the piles of gold and yellow and red.

Friday night high school football games, decked out in school sweatshirts and hats and mittens that we hoped made us look cute in that “I don’t need to try” way to all of the gorgeous (to our young, impressionable, hormonal minds!) senior guys in the front rows of the stands.

That first morning waking up with a cold nose and warm toes and realizing that it might be time to turn the heat on soon but also that there is nothing quite as cozy as a warm bed in a chilly room with sunlight streaming through an almost frosty window.

No longer having to worry about wardrobe malfunctions associated with swimsuits, tank tops and whether my arms look bad in a cap-sleeve t-shirt because it’s too cold to wear any of those items anymore.

Cozy socks and big boots.  Big soft wool scarves.

Football season.  I haven’t closely followed the games since leaving Wisconsin, but I do miss the comforting ritual of the Sunday afternoon game playing everywhere we went.

The smell of woodsmoke in the air.  Backyard bonfires.  Walking through the woods without a single mosquito bite.

My sister’s Halloween birthday and the parties my mom would put together when we were little kids complete with caldrons of steaming punch and festive graveyard cakes and more Halloween decorations than anyone else on the block.

Pumpkin patches.

The most piercingly blue skies you’ll ever see.

Did I mention the leaves?

Rainy Leaves
Old photo from Washington D.C. 2009

What do you love about Fall?

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7 thoughts on “My Annual Fall Nostalgia Post

  1. All of the above! I love the crispness in the air and the first time you go out for a run when it’s cold enough to wear pants and/or long sleeves. My in-laws sent us a little fall care package with seasonal-themed items like cupcake liners (too bad our muffin tins are in our HHE!), autumn-colored kitchen towels and leaf-shaped napkin holders.

  2. Pumpkins are in season in India now; there’s a festival coming up where people smash pumpkins by their front doors as an offering. It wasn’t exactly a pumpkin patch, but we went out to one of the big vegetable markets for our Halloween pumpkins last year. We got some good photos of Muffin picking out her pumpkins and it was the best way of keeping the tradition going that I could think of. Our housekeeper liked our jack o’lanterns so much that I let her take one home for her family.

    • I love that your housekeeper took home a jack-o-lantern, that’s so fun! I’m thinking of getting a few pumpkins from the market and doing some pumpkin carving after school with all of the kids will likes to chase after. That would be fun! Would love to see pumpkin photos of Muffin! 🙂

  3. I LOVE fall just as any good New Englander should. It’s nice being on the summer bid cycle but I’m missing fall #2 in a row and will be missing the next two because our home leave/training is May-early Aug… oh the joys of hot sticky DC summers. One of these days I’ll get so nostalgic I’ll have to plan an R&R or med evac around Oct/Nov.

    I’m not sure if you’re a fan of The Onion but I saw this and it made me think of your post and fall… and all the Mr. Autumns. http://www.theonion.com/articles/mr-autumn-man-walking-down-street-with-cup-of-coff,29866/

    • hehehehe, something funny: I tell every single person I meet that The Onion was started by students of my alma mater, University of Wisconsin Madison. Love the onion and love this article! (True story, as a college student I worked at Starbucks and one day there was a girl in line exclaiming over the horrible new in the newspaper and she was just in shock that it wasn’t being reported elsewhere and omg had you heard this yet about so-and-so???? Turns out she was reading The Onion and didn’t realize what it was… :)) It does stink to miss autumn every single year. I swear it’s the only thing I’m really looking forward to about a DC tour!!

  4. The Fall is my favorite as well. Actually I love October through the New Year! Every year we throw a kids Halloween party and this year, and every year forward, it will be even more special because Ashlynn’s birthday coincides with this time in October. I am nutty about Halloween decorations and it is so much fun now that the two older girls are really pumped about the holiday as well.

    I really miss the leaves and the smells you refer to. I miss it all. Your lovely descriptions make me miss home quite a bit. Virginia is gorgeous this time of year. Last year when we were in the States before coming to Addis we took the girls to a huge pumpkin patch extraveganza with hay rides, petting zoo, corn maze, slides, pumpkins, popcorn…the real deal and this memory of America is what has stuck in their heads. They talk about it non stop, that and apple picking and trick-or-treating in a real American neighborhood, running from house to house with the neighbor kids while all the Dads stood on the corner overseeing all the mayhem. Knowing how much of an impression this time of year and the activities made on Addie and Bella makes me miss being in America even more.

    • Ohhhh your description of fall in America last year sounds amazing! Liek quintessentially American and perfect! So interesting what kids hold on to as important and fun, it does make us wish we could give them more of those exact things doesn’t it? Oh well! By the time they’ve grown up, it will likely be the experience they’ve had outside the US that will shape them for the good so much more than the ones we aren’t able to give them from back home!

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