It’s getting cool in the Boston area; this morning I’m in a sweatshirt and shorts (to be sure that I head to the gym) and I wish I’d thrown on something warmer. I actually like the dipping temperatures at this time of year, but in typical New England style the weather took a strange turn yesterday and hit 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This morning things seem to be back to the usual October chill.
I love fall. New England doesn’t have the greatest weather during much of the year; spring comes and goes so fast that you can miss it’s pleasant days and blooming flowers if you don’t pay particular attention, summer is hot and often excessively humid, and winter is to-the-bone cold. Two winters ago we were buried in foot after foot of never-ending snow. The snow banks along the sides of most of the plowed streets were well over six feet tall. But then last year the snow never came. A waft of a flurry made an attempt here and there and that was it. No one is sure what to expect this year. But snow or no snow, it’s almost always cold.
But before that challenging season arrives, there is fall. And fall in New England is exquisite. The trees slowly turn into an astonishing canvas of oranges, reds, yellows and browns. Farm stands and garden stores sell bright orange pumpkins. Bags of fresh apples are stacked up in every supermarket produce section, next to all of the fixings required to make apple pie, muffins, or crumble. And in more rural areas the apple orchards invite you to pick your own fruit, and to stop in to their country stores for fresh cider and other goodies. And then there is the real maple syrup…heavenly.
For the first time in months you can sleep at night without tossing off your blankets and lying in a sweaty heap or giving in and turning on the air conditioning. The cool air greats your nights like a refreshing old friend, and your dreams are easier.
In a few days Jean-Paul and I will head north for a four-day driving trip through New Hampshire and northern Vermont into Quebec. We’ll spend two days in Quebec City to celebrate my birthday, and then drive back along the same route. We’re looking forward to being surrounded by the fall foliage in the White Mountains and hopefully doing some hiking on our way to and from Quebec.
I’ll leave my laptop behind and bring my notebook and a pen. The trip will be a nice chance to regroup and get back to basics.
Fall is a good time to start fresh.