Growing up in Orange County, I’ve never had the stresses of preparing for winter. I don’t have to buy super bulky overcoats or snow shoes or plan to plug in my car or buy a snow shovel. In fact, most of the time I don’t have to think about the weather at all. I just keep a light jacket in my trunk and if I feel cold, then I grab it. Mostly that’s when I venture into a movie theater but those places like to give you feel of the polar ice caps. So the idea of Fall…or Autumn if you’re an east coaster, is just that-an idea.
It was different a few decades ago. Fall was a big deal. The last warmth of summer and the family/friend beach days were counted and starred on the calendar with sadness, but the excitement of wearing those new school sweaters bought a month before loomed brightly. Fall stretched from the end of September through the beginning of December and there was no thought of icicles or snowflakes until after Thanksgiving. People brought out their cameras to photograph the few deciduous trees about (palm trees were ignored-my favorite part) and the colors of russet, brown and burnt umber got their once a year respect. People bought special wreaths with large, and often fake, maple leaves to recognize the event and colored corn cobs were nested on the dining room table with ma and pa pilgrim waiting for turkey day. But that time and planning is now only resident in our minds for just a moment, maybe on a day like….Veteran’s Day.
Nowadays Fall doesn’t even make a blip on the radar. We have a single Fall/Winter catalog and the season isn’t even spoken of by name, but referred to as the Holiday Season as if we can’t mention the actual holidays were seasonally focusing on. Santa is already blown up on the neighbor’s yard and that super large department store is awash in white and red, nary an umber to be seen. I wanted to buy an Autumn colored tablecloth at my church boutique, but the seller only had snow white and sleigh red.
In Southern California we don’t get a big weather change for Fall, but we can at least try to connect to the rest of our country by marking the three month season rather than extending Winter, because today, when the temperature is 90 degrees and the hot winds are blowing, I just can’t start the generator to fluff the snowflakes in Santa’s globe.