I suppose I should write about Halloween and the girls’ costumes this year. That Little Miss was surprisingly not Queen Elsa from “Frozen” - she chose to be Wonder Woman instead - and Pickle was very surprisingly (and very oddly) a pink fairy princess, per her request. That My Guy and I were both confounded because of all the kids we know, she’s the least pink fairy princess of them all.
But really, what I want to write about is the weather. I know, how boring, but for an ex-long-time Chicago resident living in Austin, the weather is the most exciting thing to me. And since we’re kinda sorta on Halloween, let’s start with that.
For the first time in forever (cue the song from Frozen...because I’m a mother of two girls, hello?) the kids were trick-or-treating in just their costumes, minus the heavy coat and gloves and hat. They went door to door after a romp at a mini neighborhood block party where kids jumped in a bouncy house, in short-sleeved or skimpy costumes nonetheless, and no one, not a single person, was cold. It was a glorious (and I use this word a lot to describe the current season here, just so you’re warned; that way you can be judicious with your eye-rolling) 70-degree weather that had us ex-Chicagoans giggling like schoolgirls - is this for real?
On a day where old friends and neighbors from Chicago posted about a day of snow, hail, and freezing rain, as well as a flooded Lake Shore Drive from abnormally high waves from Lake Michigan, it didn’t seem right that we were enjoying a day like we had this Halloween. But then again, I told myself, we had done our time in snow, hail, and freezing rain. We were there last year when our girls were drenched in icy rain while trick-or-treating; barely two blocks into it and we had to call it off. It was just too much.
I knew how my Chicago friends felt this year, and my heart went out to them. It just wasn’t fair to the kids. I couldn’t in good conscience post about our Halloween on Facebook that day; I’m pretty sure that’s the quickest way to get unfriended en masse. But I choose to write about it now because the weather is all I think about these days.
As a transplant from the north, everything here in the south is still so new to me, especially the weather. We left Chicago for many reasons but chief among them was that we’re just so done with the harsh winters that sometimes linger long past their welcome. Snow in April? Fuck that.
Granted, the Fall here isn’t as spectacular, color-wise, although the temperatures have been rather glorious (ahem) - 70’s and perfect blue skies for weeks! I was seeing only the candy colors of summer well into the end of October, and the green leaves remained a vivid green, mocking me with their vibrance. For someone who relishes the warm and ruddy colors of this season, I was a little annoyed. I can’t help it; I’m a freak for Fall. I make banners with colorful fallen leaves, mull wine with aromatic and decidedly autumnal spices, pick apples at an orchard with my family, look forward to all things pumpkin, and happily get cozy in a warm hoodie and tall boots. So far, Fall here meant a lovely reprieve from triple-digit heat, which was great and all, but I needed more.
And then came November, when all the leaves were on the ground in the northern part of the country, probably covered in snow, and something magical started to happen. The leaves started to change. Gasp! The green hills are now textured with varying shades of amber, yellow, and orange. It’s not like New Hampshire or even Chicago; heck, it’s not even close, but I will take what I can get.
I know I should be recording details of Halloween for the girls (they had a great time and a basketful of goodies, what more can I say?), or even the fun Frozen birthday party we had at our house for Little Miss, but really, all I can think about is that the leaves are changing, the leaves are changing, THE LEAVES ARE CHANGING, and it’s finally gloriously, wonderfully, truly Fall y’all!
This too, on our route home, a few minutes from the house. Also known as my happy place.