And yet, despite all this, winter is not my favorite season. That would be autumn. I've loved this season ever since I was a kid, and not just for the cool colors, but because of all the promise the Fall brings with it. This is my favorite time of the year because the weather starts to turn cooler, drearier, and also cleaner. When the wind shifts from out of the southwest to now from the northwest, the air has that crisp, clean freshness to it that you don't get the rest of the year here in the northeast. It smells of mountains and freedom to me. As a kid, there was also the added bonus of the big holidays -- Thanksgiving and Christmas. This meant time away from school and being with family and getting lots of gifts! :)
Yeah, you can see where my real priorities were.
So each year around this time I start to get excited, although family get-togethers are far smaller and fewer between than before. And of course, I don't get quite the same Christmas haul as I used to as a kid. Still, when the leaves turn that's when my mood changes. I get happier for no specific reason, and suddenly the world's problems don't nearly seem as pressing.
The only downside, however, is living in NYC around this time since the city takes far longer to fall into the traditional Fall patterns than the rest of the outlying areas. I never noticed this oddity until I went to college in Vermont, where the leaves there start to change in late September/early October.
In NYC, they start to turn around Halloween. Even today, one week later, the leaves are only barely midway through the cycle of change and discard. See for yourself:
(I took these pics from our bedroom windows this morning.)
Ultimately, the best thing about Fall is that Winter is not far behind it. I love anticipating the first snows and welcome the truly bleak and blistering weather to come in mid-January and February. When others are cursing the season, I'm grinning and feeling more alive than I've ever felt. This is why I miss Vermont so much. NYC just doesn't cut it when it comes to having *true* winters. All the concrete and crowds just retain too much heat to make it really bone-chilling cold the way I prefer. And of course the air is far cleaner up north in Vermont, too.
Maybe someday I'll move back? Not likely since Lisa, being a true Caribbean girl from Kingston, cannot stand the cold. She would prefer we move to Florida or San Diego -- or even Hawaii.
Blech! I don't know what I'd do without my changing seasons.