It's been strange transitioning into fall with this bizarre warm weather. This is also my first fall transition in my new condo/'hood. For my 5 years in the Queen Anne house, I marked changes in the season from spring into summer, and then summer into fall with the opening and closing of a window.
I lived on the top floor of an old house, facing west. In the winter, it would get frigid. Even if I wanted fresh air, I couldn't bare opening the window. Summer, in contrast, meant my room was a good 10-20 degrees hotter than the rest of the house. It was awful. Window open, blinds shut for the duration of the summer months. Staying up late in the living room, waiting until I was super tired to ascend into the oven that was my room.
I have noticed conversations about changing seasons. People are getting their pumpkin spice lattes, but the weather has still been in the 80s! I know I'm not the only one a little out of sorts. I'm noticing the sun setting a little earlier. There's a chill in the evenings that wasn't there a few weeks ago. But the leaves still look pretty darn green.
This morning I woke up to gray skies and a chill that wasn't there a few weeks ago. The marine layer burned off, but it's a sign of things to come.
I'm saying good-bye to flip-flops and sandals. Good-bye to being able to leave my jacket at home. Good-bye to iced beverages.
I'm saying hello to layers, sweaters, boots, corduroy, plaid and lots and lots of wool.
Ok. I guess that's being a little dramatic. The beautiful thing about living in Seattle is... it's mild. We usually don't get too hot. And we usually don't get too cold. Which is why we freak out and complain when it snows or gets above 100 degrees. Actually, we complain when it merely frosts and gets above a breezy 75 degrees.
I saw some ad on TV in the last couple days where there's a guy standing in Seattle with the Space Needle in the back drop. And there's rain. But it looks fake. Because it's POURING. That's something that always gets me in movies, TV shows, etc set in Seattle. It really rarely pours here. We get less rain than many other major cities. Our annual total averages 37.1 inches per year. New York gets 46.2 inches. But, we get more cloudy days. 201 per year for us vs. 152 per year in New York.
We get the drizzle. The gray. And the drizzle.
Alas. I'll be breaking out my slippers when my concrete floors become too cold for my bare feet in the morning. I'll be wearing my REI rain jacket, with the hood up, as I walk to work. I might even bust out an umbrella on occasion, but that's not what real Seattleites do. I am looking forward to curling up more with good books. Cooking more soups and stews. Drinking more porters, stouts and red wine. Baking more. And going to the gym more! I mean, come on, what else am I gonna do when it starts getting dark at 5?
I can't wait to take my Little Sister to a pumpkin patch. To run around in a corn maze and get our shoes muddy.
And now... some reflection.
from September 19, 2007:
Signs of Fall
I saw my first leaf fall a few weeks ago. But I ignored it. Last week was still lovely.
But today I'm wearing a sweater for the third day in a row.
I almost closed my bedroom window this morning. As I've said before, I open it sometime in May and leave it open for the entire summer.
Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale is being featured at Whole Foods today.
I'm enjoying an amazing Blackberry Cider. (Not hard cider, silly)
And on that note, a poem I wrote a few years ago about the fall...
With a harsh wind, but a gentle rustle, Autumn permits us to recoil into a courtship with comfort. She paints warm colors to help us transition into the death of winter. She allows us to build fires and turn the thermostat up a few notches. She is the school teacher in a denim jumper over a rainbow-striped shirt. She wears wool knee socks and sweater vests with atrocious patterns. She allows us to go to bed early and wear over-sized fleece sweats. She encourages us to wrap up in a down blanket and read a good book, or watch bad television. She is gracious as she dries the leaves and she is sweet in her thunderstorms. She raises our necklines, and layers us in casseroles and pot roasts and stew. She blows the whistle at recess, while we kick mud. She bakes brownies and chocolate chip cookies and apple crisp.
-Noelle, October 1, 2005