by Paula Deen
Life’s a little slower down South than it is in the rest of the country. No one is in a hurry to get anywhere because down here anywhere can usually wait. Even fall sneaks in as sly as a fox.
One mornin’ I step out on my porch and I feel that something is missing. Humidity. Without that suffocating blanket of heat, I can catch a chill when it’s 65 degrees. So I cover my goose bumps with a warm coat even though I know that I’ll be sweatin’ by noon like a big girl writing her first love letter. Come nightfall, I’ll need that coat again, otherwise my Southern blood will just about freeze solid.
But that first chill of the season sure takes me back. I get to thinking about high school football, cheerleading, and pullin’ on a warm sweater as us girls reluctantly headed home after the game. We’d stretch those nights out as long as we could, as if we knew that someday soon we’d have to grow up. Eventually we did ¬– well, sort of.
I still consider autumn the season of friends, football, and comfort food. I’m no spring chicken, but I can still tear up a pile of leaves with the best of ‘em. And after a hard day of work and play, there’s just nothing better than digging into a big bowl of Creamy Squash Soup to warm me right up. If the change in weather does start to get me down, I’ll get creative in the kitchen with my grand baby Jack, who always lifts my spirits. Together we’ll pour candy corns into the Crispy Rice Candy Corn Treats and eat up all the misfits that don’t make the cut.
This season, take a lesson from the children and cast away your grown-up inhibition. Join in the Halloween fun by dressing up with the kids (I’m going to be a “lady pirate” this year), or turn your house into a haunted one and don’t even bother cleaning ¬– the more cobwebs the better! Because before you know it, the trees will be bare, the blue sky will turn gray, and the kids will be trapped inside with so much pent-up energy it’ll make your head spin.
So with my mug of Hot Cranberry Cider (or pint of brew – it is football season, y’all), I salute you, autumn. Because you remind me of a special time when I was no longer a child, but not quite a grown-up either. It may be the “in-between” season, but it’s a miracle just the same.