Ten Ways to Love the Autumn

At my house, the last day of summer is a joyous occasion, but for others it’s a harbinger of dread. As my (northern hemisphere) friends step with me into The Dark Half of the Year, here are some tips and tricks to get as much joy out of the autumn as I do.

Summer is so overrated

Here we are then, finally! The last day of summer has arrived, and the fall is rolling in on the back of a mighty wind (thanks former-hurricane Jose). This is great news, so I’ll be walking around all day with a huge smile on my face. There’ll be no more worrying about being too hot, bathing in bug spray, or swimming in sunscreen. I can hear my friends lamenting now—

But we can’t go to the beach, it gets dark so early, no more dining al fresco, we get so SAD (seasonal affective disorder), there’s nothing to do now but hibernate!

Alright, alright. I hear you. These are legitimate concerns (I guess), but summer is so fleeting, especially in New England. The autumn has so much to offer—I just don’t understand how some people manage to reserve all their happiness for three, hot, sticky months of the year. If you’re in this camp, I encourage you to try the following on for size:

Ten Ways to Love the Autumn

1. Turn off the air conditioning and open the windows.

In Massachusetts there are exactly 38 days when it is acceptable to have the windows open in your house. These are May 1-13 and September 21 to October 15. Before and after these times it is too cold, and between them your air conditioner must run non-stop, or you’ll spontaneously combust. Alright, maybe that’s an exaggeration because my house holds heat really well. . .

In any case, you get the point. If you’ve been breathing artificially cooled, recirculated air all summer, now is your chance to take a deep breath and clear out your lungs. Drink it up!

2. Go to the beach anyways

September, October, and November might not be great for swimming in the ocean, but the days are still warm enough to enjoy a nice stroll on the sand. Also, keep your beach bag ready to go in case of Indian Summer—you might squeak out one last afternoon of sunbathing.

And if you’re thinking about a long weekend away, the hotels in resort towns aren’t in season anymore, so you’ll stand to save some money on lodging.

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Revenge is better with a side of bacon. . . 

3.  Be a leaf peeper

Even those in the summer-is-over-life-is-over camp have to admit that fall foliage is gorgeous. Take a moment each day to enjoy the changing of the season as the trees turn brilliant gold and blinding red.

What’s that you say? Changing leaves represent death and decay? You live somewhere the leaves just turn a nasty brown and fall off? I’d recommend some rose colored glasses then. Put them on and your nasty browns will turn pleasantly pink.

4.  Consume Pumpkin Spice everything

Seriously. Eat and drink all of it. The cult-like following of Pumpkin Spice is well-earned, and the cinnamon-nutmeg-crack-cocaine spice blend will be sure to warm you right up on a cold morning. What can I say? I’m a fan, and there is only a short window of time when it’s acceptable to consume Pumpkin Spice. Ever try a pumpkin spice latte in July?

If you’re a do-it-yourself kind of person, check out this awesome recipe from my friend Sandra.

5.  Go for a run (or a hike)

Because you hopefully took my advice with number 4, and you’ve got some extra calories to burn off. Also, I already alluded to this, but when you exercise outdoors in the autumn, you don’t have to worry so much about bugs, UV radiation, or getting too hot. It’s nice to go for a run and have the sweat actually evaporate off your skin, cooling you as it goes. You’re not going to get that in August.

6.  Pull out the crock pot

Because you hopefully took my advice with number 5, and you’re going to be hungry! Throw everything into the crock pot in the morning, spend all day on the trails, and when you get home in the afternoon there’ll be delicious simmered-all-day goodness just waiting for you.

Truth be told, I’m kind of crap with the crockpot. My idea of cooking is preparing something so complex I have to stir it every 2.5 seconds for four hours or it’ll be ruined. The set it and forget it method perplexes me. Still, I really love this beef burgundy recipe, which will help with number 7.

7.  Start eating mushrooms

This should in no way be taken as an actual remedy for SAD (seasonal affective disorder), but mushrooms are full of vitamin D, which is the vitamin we synthesize when sunbathing. By my totally unscientific logic, this suggests to me that mushrooms are essentially squishy little sunshine bombs.

Okay, maybe don’t eat this kind of mushroom. But if you think it’s pretty, click to check it out in Brian’s shop.

So if the short days start to get to you, just eat a bucket of mushrooms. You can even throw some fresh ones into the beef burgundy recipe from number 6.

8.  Get cozy with a book

Alright, inevitably there’ll be days in the autumn when it’s just too cold or rainy to go outdoors. What a great chance to catch up on your reading! Grab a blanket and a cat, some coffee or tea (or wine or whiskey) and settle in. If you’re still lamenting summer’s end, I suggest something beach themed. And if you really can’t come up with anything, I know of a good book to add to your list.

What’s that? You don’t read? How on earth did you end up on this blog? Oh well. I hear some people like this thing called Football that’s on TV all the time. . .

9.  Plant some mums

Chrysanthemums technically, though I don’t know anyone who actually calls them that. These hardy flowers will outlast everything else in your garden and add a little color as everything else goes to sleep and retreats beneath the earth.

10.  Slow down

Summer is hectic! While you don’t have to hibernate, you should slow down. Take stock of your life and the world around you. Enjoy little moments. Appreciate not having to rush around. Rejoice in having less to do and more time to do it. And above all, though it’s a long way off, remember that the summer will come around again. You’ll have plenty of chances to be hot and sticky and stressed and doused in bug spray again next year.

Still not convinced?

Well, I did my best. Might I suggest moving somewhere in the southern hemisphere? I’ve got some lovely friends in Australia and New Zealand, and it’s about to be spring there. Just let me know if you decide to go, I’ll take your share of the Pumpkin Spice everything. Thanks.

And now your thoughts! Are you team summer-is-over-life-is-over? Do you feel strongly about Pumpkin Spice one way or another? What do you do to keep your spirit up when the nights are longer than the days? Let me know in the comments below.

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Thanks as always for reading! Happy autumn!

Gregory

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Jana - September 21, 2017

I already love autumn, but it was good to read your blog to remind me of all the reasons why (except pumpkin spice, you can have my share).

Reply
    Gregory Josephs - September 21, 2017

    Hahaha! Alright Jana, I’ll take it!

    Reply
D. A. M. Steelman - September 21, 2017

Autumn is the best time of year! Bright leaves, cool temperatures, hot apple cider, hay rides, Halloween… the list goes on!

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    Gregory Josephs - September 21, 2017

    I’m with you! And cider donuts! No hay ride is complete without a hot cider donut! 😉

    Reply
authensible1357 - September 21, 2017

Great blog. You had me chuckling along while I’m sitting outside having lunch. We’ve had a return to summer here in the midwest( 90 for a high today). I hope it’s a very brief return to summer because I’m definitely a fan of Autumn. I love it all: the foliage, sweaters, breezes, pumpkin spice and pumpkin everything really. I even use to love raking. I’m getting older now so I don’t enjoy it as much anymore.

I am of the mind, we should just skip summer and have a longer fall!

Reply
    Gregory Josephs - September 21, 2017

    Yes! Let’s go right from May to September! Thanks for reading—I’m glad you got a good chuckle. 😉

    Reply
Aimer Boyz - September 21, 2017

Preaching to the choir here. I hate ridiculously hot weather. Love the fall. 🙂

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    Gregory Josephs - September 21, 2017

    Amen! I raise my pumpkin spice latte to you, and wish you cool breezes!

    Reply
Wind Kisses - September 21, 2017

Hi there. First of all congrats on the launch of your new book, and I love the cover. I have so much admiration and respect for anyone tackling that accomplishment. Well done.

Always love your humor, and your take on autumn is no different. I am always grateful for autumn, since summer in Arizona is for those who live in the crock pot for a few months. I celebrate autumn with the START of hiking season, and the hibernation of snakes and “crittery” things. Yippee. Have a good weekend.

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    Gregory Josephs - September 21, 2017

    Haha! Lovely tie-ins there! I think I’ve told you before, I had a grandmother in Tucson, but we only visited in winter and spring. I can’t imagine an Arizona summer!

    Enjoy the coming hikes and lack of snakes! And thanks re: the book!

    Reply
itsmyhusbandandme - September 21, 2017

I like number 10. Thanks for reminding me. I love Summer, I’m sorry to see it go. But it will come back and that perhaps should be number 11…
JP x

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    Gregory Josephs - September 21, 2017

    I need to remember to slow down too. And yes, it’ll come around again, and maybe next year I’ll enjoy it more fully in the moment. I don’t know where it’s gone, honestly!

    Reply
Janesjournals.com - September 21, 2017

Don’t forget to add some WA State apples!

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    Gregory Josephs - September 21, 2017

    The MA apples might be jealous. . . but I’ll look for WA apples in the winter. 😉

    Reply
kasswoods - September 21, 2017

relatable, fall is really the most inspiring season. I love this, never enough credit to the most vibrant and dynamic time of the year.

Reply
    Gregory Josephs - September 21, 2017

    Thanks! I really am looking forward to it—dynamic is the best way to describe how each and every day is different. In New England there is a particular golden quality to the daylight, especially in November. . .

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Reply
Stefanie Stricker - September 22, 2017

I always said I wish I worked through the summer and was off September through November instead. The best season also becomes my most hectic season, which stinks. Great post!!

Reply
    Gregory Josephs - September 22, 2017

    Doesn’t that sound nice! Perhaps if we all banded together we could shift the academic calendar. 😉

    Reply
Marcus Lopes - September 23, 2017

I love autumn. It is a time to slow down as well as, for me, begin again (creatively). I especially look forward to the cooling temperatures so that I can increase my running distance.

I keep my spirits up with my daily gratitude list, which reminds me just how blessed I am.

Enjoy this wonderful season!
Marcus

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    Gregory Josephs - September 23, 2017

    Yes! One of my favorite parts of the cooler months is the opportunity to be unabashedly industrious! Creatively, in particular.

    Enjoy your longer runs! This time last year I was getting ready for my first half marathon. Plantar fasciitis sidelined me this year, but I’ll hopefully be hitting the pavement a bit before it’s too cold. . .

    Reply
CracTpot - October 17, 2017

I’ll take my squishy little sunshine bombs, deep fried with ranch sauce for dipping…or scattered over my pepperoni and cheese pizza…Happy Fall Mister! And congrats on your new book!

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    Gregory Josephs - October 18, 2017

    One order of deep-fried sunshine coming right up! Happy Fall to you as well, and thanks! Much excitement all around!

    Reply
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