Monday, September 19, 2011

Fall is my 4th Favorite Season

I was checking out Shauna Niequist's blog and realized once again that she and I are twins in so many ways. Here is part of a post about why Fall is her 4th favorite season:

Here's my reasoning: the biggest strike against fall, in my book, is that fall means no more summer. And you know how I feel about summer. I love summer. I'm a summer girl. It's hard for me to imagine that summer isn't everyone's favorite season, although clearly it isn't, because these days it seems all I see are posts rhapsodizing about fall, fall, fall.

My #1 favorite season: summer. Summer is long days, going barefoot, sunsets on the lake. It's fireworks and lazy days and no school and no routine. It's flip flops and sundresses and tan shoulders and ponytails. It's farmer's markets and Long Island Iced Teas and fried shrimp in a basket and boating and swimming and sandy toes and pink noses. Summer food is my favorite food: berries and corn and ice cream and tomatoes and everything cooked on the grill.

2nd favorite season: spring...because it means that winter is over and summer is coming. I know, I know--I have a one track mind. And I like the longer days, that soft afternoon light, buds on branches. I love those very first sunny spring days when it's actually still really cold, but crazy sun-starved Chicagoans wear shorts and wash their cars in their driveways.

3rd favorite season: winter. I don't love the cold, but I do love Christmas and New Year's Eve and parties & cookies. I love shopping for presents and even more, wrapping them. I love the first couple snows and the heavy, cozy flavors of winter--beef bourguignon and risotto, rich red wines, dark chocolate. Another vote for winter: it's when we go on vacation, and vacation reminds me guessed it: summer!

4th favorite season: fall. A few reasons: when you fall-lovers get all excited about apple picking or football games or pumpkin spice lattes, all I see is NO MORE SUMMER. And in my opinion, those quintessential fall things pale in comparison to summer. Boots? I prefer sandals. Apple pie? I'd choose strawberry shortcake any day. Pumpkin spice latte? JUST GIVE ME SUMMER BACK!

And if imitation is the highest form of flattery let's say I love Shauna a lot.

My #1 Favorite Season: Summer. I think it's ingrained in my heart and mind that summer is why we have the rest of the year. From the day school ends to the day it begins is glorious, joyful, lose-your voice from singing, laugh until you cry summer. Summer means 10 weeks of summer camp and days that stretch from waking up at 7:20 in Choctaw to running through the green of Main Field to sitting on benches at closing campfire as the sun is replaced by a sky of stars. Nike shorts and rainbow sandals and potholder headbands and swimsuit tan-lines reign. We eat hot dog picnics, baked oatmeal for breakfast and ice-cream cookie sandwiches at Trading Post. It's my summer family of counselors and campers that are reunited for at least a week at our favorite place in the world.

2nd Favorite Season: Spring. It's almost summer. The countdowns for camp are getting close and it's acceptable to start talking about going camp shopping and packing your plastic drawers with white v-necks, overalls, crocs and your clipboard. When Spring arrives everyone comes alive. You can put your coats back in the depths of your closet and the days start to stretch a bit longer. At Hope I loved how the Pine Grove would fill every afternoon with people studying on blankets, Emmys long boarding to class, and friends going for walks through campus. I love that people lace up their running shoes again and come back to the Monon. Spring is bright sweatshirts, the last hurrah of school activities, and wiffle ball games in the middle of the street.

3rd Favorite Season: Winter. I love my Patagonia and bright scarves. My calendar is full with mother-daughter quilt camp, the CILT reunion at camp, Christmas with my family, the Young Life ski trip, New Years Eve at the Houghtons, my birthday, going back to Hope for NME and snow day crafting sessions. I don't like being cold. I hate salt lines on my shoes and pants. I don't love winter foods or having to wear twenty layers of clothes before you step outside. Wiping the ice and snow off of my car in the morning and driving on icy roads are two of my least favorite things.

4th Favorite Season: Fall. It's the death of summer. It means camp is over for the year and technology becomes the means of staying in touch with so many of my favorite people. It stays dark longer in the morning and gets dark sooner at night. I don't love pumpkins or football games or leaves dying and falling. None of that can come close to taking the place of summer. The two things Fall has going for it- sweatshirt weather and crock-pots of chili.

226 days until Summer 2012.

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