Autumn is my favorite season. Don't get me wrong, there are things I love about all of the seasons. But fall. Sigh. No other season changes my life the way fall does. It changes the way I dress, the way I live, the way I feel, the way I cook.
As soon as there is a hint of autumn in the air I am ready to start cooking stews and soups, and things whose main ingredient is best harvested in the fall. Pumpkin pancakes and apple bread. I'm ready to spend most of my free time curled up on the sofa with my family reading my stacks of books and magazines with a fire in the fireplace and the dog curled up at my feet.
I want to go for walks that aren't meant to burn calories but whose main focus is to feel the crisp autumn air on my cheeks. I want to help my youngest daughter rake up leaves, only to jump and roll in them and redistribute them all over the lawn. I think raking up leaves and bagging them should be a criminal offense.
Most of all, there is something about this time of year that just makes me feel satisfied. Things about myself, my house or my life that normally would bother me suddenly don't. I'm happy to be me, even if I haven't lost that last 10 pounds, refinished the kitchen table or found the perfect bench for the foyer. I'm grateful for everything I have and it's even possible that I love my family a little more than I did during the summer. For me, Thanksgiving is not a single day during autumn, but an entire season.