Pumpkin Everything and Giant Piles of Leaves
Often when I tell people that I was born in California, they always ask “why on Earth did you leave?!?” Well, firstly, it wasn’t remotely my decision since I was 15 months old when my parents, sister, and I packed up and moved over to Philadelphia. Secondly, my parents were sick of Southern California and its barely changing seasons.
Yep, my parents’ main reason for wanting to come to the middle of the East Coast was so that we could actually experience the joy that is the axial tilt of the Earth and I, for one, am quite happy that they wanted that!
I love living in a place that has four distinct seasons. I love each season for different reasons and my favorite parts of the year are the transitions from one season to the next. We are currently in my favorite of the transitions – summer to autumn.
My favorite thing about summer is the lovely amount of light we get and how long the days are. Waking up and coming home in sunlight each work day makes every day feel like the possibilities are endless and I look forward to that every year, especially after losing the light for several months. Of course, I like a certain amount of heat to go with that light so that I can partake in all the outdoor stuff I like (beaches, rivers, and dining al fresco) but I am more susceptible to heat related illness seemingly (though that has gotten a lot better since I started paying special attention to my water consumption and not staying outside in the dog days for long periods of time).
But this time of year, when it is cold enough to grab a cuddly cardigan in the morning to head to work, and when sunset is earlier and the evening commute is bathed in golden welcoming light...I tend to be filled with a calmness and pleasantness that accompany days well spent, work well done, and the promise of relaxing under fuzzy blankets on comfy couches with perhaps a cup of favorite tea.
In addition to all that awesomeness, autumn brings PA Ren Faire season which means costumes, pirates, giant turkey legs, and mead! Also, Mount Hope winery sells one of my favorite red wines, so it's time to stock up a little! I also want to visit pumpkin patches and go on a hay ride and sip apple cider while picking out the perfect ginormous squash.
I have no choice but to name the above photo "Squash-Buckling". Shut up. I know I'm fired.
And Halloween. But, like, I don't even need to go on about why that rules.
I even love the winter. While I don’t so much love the darkness, I actually quite enjoy bundling up to go outside and I enjoy finding coffee shops to get the occasional hot chocolate or peppermint mocha in. I like getting one of those drinks and wandering around in festively decorated parts of town. While I’m pretty much over Christmas in a lot of ways, I love lights and glitter and the way Rittenhouse Square gets transformed into a magical pocket in the center of the city.
Last year I, like many people, was taken by surprise by the “real winter” we ended up having. I didn’t have the proper apparel at all and for some reason kept avoiding investing in anything. So, I was epically cold a lot, trying to piece together proper warmth from random things I would find in the house. This year I am shopping for a warm, vintage inspired winter coat and I’m going to get some fuzzy lined water proof winter boots…and leather gloves…and a soft warm hat! Yes, I’ve become all girly and wish to look cute AND be warm.
I bought a couple of dresses on Modcloth yesterday and will be investing in more sweater tights because cuteness waits for no person!
I used to fear seasonal affective disorder, but that hasn’t been much of a problem since getting treatment for depression and anxiety in general, and also because I tend to fill my evenings with things that are not light dependent. I do a lot of art now and often I work on my pieces at night, regardless of season. Also, now that I have upped my Vitamin D levels, I have more energy regardless of sunlight. So, I’m feeling pretty happy now and expect to keep it up over the autumn and winter months.
Things are good. I feel like healing has been happening without me quite noticing. Now that it’s a little bit chilly at times and Halloween is on its way, I find that I am feeling inspired to decorate for the season (inspiration that has mostly eluded me for the last couple of years). I’m also inspired to fix things up around the house and do projects that I haven’t be able to muster the amount of care required to do up until now.
I also totally gave up on the Whole30 out of sheer boredom and the fact that me and ridiculous amounts of restriction really don’t get along. The thing was that I committed to trying it as an experiment, but I hadn’t actually bought into the whole philosophy. A lot of it I suspected was kind of bullshit…certainly bullshit if one is making blanket statements about what EVERYONE should be eating. I pretty much confirmed in 18 days what I already knew about my body and what makes it function best. Hooray and give me a piece of cheese.
It’s truly wonderful to feel the darkness lifting even though the days are getting shorter. I couldn’t ask for more wonderful people in my life. I couldn’t ask for a lovelier home. I couldn’t ask for a better job and career. I couldn’t ask for anything more because this is the life I want, with the people I love, and with the future full of possibility and promise.
Now…if we could just get the puppy to stop crapping on the floor, life would be damn near perfect!