The evidence is clear. Fall is swiftly approaching. For months now, Jeff and I have been looking towards Fall as a significant turning point in our lives. After the weather has cooled and the leaves have fallen, a little baby will be joining us. How marvelous and exciting!
Cool Breezes: The first evidence of Fall comes when you walk out the door in the morning, then immediately need to walk back in for a sweater. Although the Spokane days in Fall can get up to the 90s, the mornings can be as cool as the 40s. One can always tell the Spokane Fall is here when layering clothes becomes a mantra before walking out the door in the early morning.
School Starts: They're BAAAaaaccck! Those silly, loveable, and sometimes idiotic students are back on campus for Fall semester. The hallways are crowded again, and the public restrooms are in shambles, but it's great to see the smiling faces and inspiring fashion statements those crazy kids bring every year.
The Smell of Cider: This might sound ridiculous, but for the last two weeks I have been randomly picking up the scent of apple cider. Whether I am walking into work or slumping on the couch at home, the scent of mulling apples will often surprise me at the most unusual times. Perhaps this is just wishful thinking, or perhaps my super sonic pregnancy nose can smell the cider being made on Greenbluff. (Yesterday I was certain someone in the building was eating apples with peanut butter...turns out I was right. Never underestimate the power of the pregnancy nose!) Either way, I am eager to visit the mountains to pick apples and pumpkins - and maybe stand in line for an hour to get pumpkin donuts - and to enjoy a warm cup of apple cider.
The Pumpkin Spice Latte: Even though it is technically still summer, Starbucks likes to cash in on the PSL market as soon as school begins. And this girl is one willing participant. It's funny because I don't necessarily like the taste of the PSL, but the idea of it is always oh-so enticing. So why do we love it so much? It's not even that good. I think it's because Fall holds a special place in the hearts of many. It is a time when we can imagine ourselves returning to school at Hogwarts, drinking Butterbeer as we dress in costumes for Halloween, and reuniting with family for a bountiful Thanksgiving feast. It is a symbol of all things that are near and dear to our hearts. For me, this year the Pumpkin Spice Latte represents the official changing of seasons for our family, a mark of the time when things will never be the same again. A time when the nearest and dearest gift will be introduced into our hearts.
A Trick of the Light: It's a subtle change, but the light in Fall is different. Almost like you are looking at the world through a lightly shaded lens. The sun is not as harsh, and the trees are starting to recognize this. If you look close enough, you can see greens fading to yellows, browns, and reds.
Frost on the Windshield: This morning I had frost on my windshield for the first time since April. Though it is a charming side effect of Fall, it also means I will need to start getting up earlier for the eventual window scraping, and (hopefully not too soon) the brushing and shoveling of snow. For now, I am happy to see it melt away as I make my way to work. But SOON will this be a part of my life as I bundle up my little Bundle of Joy and get us ready for the day ahead.
Shenanigans: Like clockwork, every Fall the neighborhood hooligans are out vandalizing properties of innocent, naive homeowners. Oh the joys of living in a neighborhood! Last year our tire got slashed, the year before our cars got egged. Last night someone threw packaging peanuts all over the neighborhood. It was kind of a funny prank, and at least I don't need to buy 4 new tires to provide someone with a night of fun. The only thing I need to fix this mess is time. But time is not on my side. There is so much to do in a day already, and my mind is swimming with all the things that need to be done to prepare for Bebe - company after work on Thursday, preparing the nursery to paint after work on Friday, paint the nursery on Saturday, repainting and organizing the basement, and the list goes on. Where on earth am I going to find the time to pick up a million packaging peanuts from the yard?!
Harvest: Each spring I plant vegetables and sunflowers in my garden, mostly as a form of therapy. I love watching them grow and produce food for our family and friends, and the sounds of dozens of ravens thieving the sunflower seeds brings me an eerie sense of joy. Like summers in the past, the hot Spokane air stunted the growth of many of our plants. However, the cooler temperatures of late August and early September always seem to bring bounty to our garden. Suddenly we have the most food we've had since last harvest. So for the next few weeks I will be researching recipes for all those beets, kale, tomatoes, beans, carrots, berries, cucumbers, and zucchini I can't seem to get rid of.
The Bump: It is finally obvious that I'm pregnant. The belly has officially popped. Coworkers, students, and strangers on the street are starting to look at my stomach, smile, then look at my face. Sometimes I'll even get a friendly little hug. Our baby is almost ready for harvest too!
Those sounds and smells are here. The end of summer is near. Soon I will be decorating our table with pumpkins, and leaves will be decorating the yard. Before we know it, we will be decorating a tree with ornaments that say "Baby's First Christmas." Fall is upon us indeed.