Last Autumn, I was in New England. I fulfilled a lifelong dream to see the Fall foliage and experience the New England culture. I loved it. My spirit could not contain my joy. My enthusiasm exploded outward the entire time we were gone. I loved how beautiful everything was. I loved exploring the history. I loved the small-town vibe of the places we visited. I loved the Fall decorations and merchandise. I loved wearing jeans and sweaters and sweatshirts. I loved wearing a jacket without sweating.
What a difference a year makes! In Florida, the weather doesn’t give us a Fall. If we are lucky, we get a Stumble. The Summer weather doesn’t change much until December. When my compatriots in New England are putting on their snow boots and shoveling snow, I am making the transition to long pants. Actually, the New Englanders probably start shoveling snow long before I start wearing long pants on a regular basis. This is probably no big secret, but it is hot in Florida. And it doesn’t stop being hot on the autumnal equinox.
Fall has always been my favorite season. The fact that Florida weather does not provide for a Fall is patently unacceptable in my book. If Mother Nature does not provide a Fall, I am going to create one.
I put up Autumn decorations a few weeks ago. I did that in the comfort of my air- conditioned home. I keep struggling to resist the compelling urge to purchase sweaters, sweatshirts, and jackets… and I keep losing the struggle. I am a huge fan of French terry and lightweight knit fabric. It gives the illusion of cozy clothes without the pesky warmth. The other day, I indulged in a monumental act of faith that the temperature will eventually drop. I bought a new pair of jeans.
Last year’s Autumn vacation gave me the opportunity to indulge my Fall obsession. Not so much this year’s Autumn vacation. We went to Las Vegas. Las Vegas is not known for crisp weather, changing leaves, or apple cider. There was one hallmark of Fall that we did encounter there, though…. The first Starbuck’s pumpkin scones of the season.
Max and I look forward to the Starbuck’s pumpkin scones all year long. During scone season, we will look for any excuse to go to Starbuck’s and share a scone. We decide which movies to see based on what is playing in theaters near a Starbuck’s. I think the only reason Max joins me in my charitable work delivering food to the homebound is that there will probably be a scone stop somewhere along the way. Even though we each eat only half a scone each time, I am sure we eat more than our share of iced pumpkin spicy sweetness throughout the limited run the scone enjoys.
One year, the pumpkin scones disappeared only a week or two after we first tasted their seasonal delectableness. When I asked the barista about them, she told me that there had been a fire in the factory that produced them. It was so sad. I was afraid that we would never see the scones again. I went into deep mourning. Happily, the scone bakers must have repaired the fire damage. The next year, the scones were back. I think we ate double our usual unreasonable number of pumpkin scones to make up for lost time.
The first scone sighting of the season is always exciting. It was doubly exciting because this year, it happened at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. I imagine it felt something like the feeling northerners get when the first snowfall of the season comes on Christmas Eve. We were on vacation. We were in Las Vegas. We were walking hand in hand under the fake Roman sky in the most iconic hotel casino in the United States. Then, there they were… pumpkin scones in the Starbuck’s display case. It was a magical moment.
Since then, we’ve been stalking the scones. We must not be the only ones because sometimes there are none left when we get to Starbuck’s. We went to the Florida Mall a couple of weeks ago and went straight for the Starbuck’s. We were disappointed to see the earlier birds had gotten all the scones. We settled on a pumpkin muffin and nursed our disappointment. Later in the day, we noticed that there was a mini-Starbuck’s counter inside the Macy’s, and they had the pumpkin scones. We felt distinctly sulky and resentful that we missed our opportunity.
Soon, pumpkin scone season will be over. It is sad. I do not despair, however. In fact, I look forward to the middle of November, when the pumpkin scones disappear. You see, after pumpkin scone season comes…. Gingerbread season!
Your turn… what means “Fall” to you? Please share your perspective by leaving a comment. In the alternative, you can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have an au-tummy-licious day!
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