Fall is by far my favorite season.
First of all, autumn brings what I call “Fat Guy Weather.” The infernal summer heat finally subsides which means the sweat underneath my man boobs finally disappears. Not to mention I get to break out my fine collection of sweaters. And because we’re in New England, it means you get that weird phenomenon where you need a jacket in the morning, air conditioning during the middle of the day and long sleeves again at night. I swear if I could have the temps in the low 60s on a year-round basis I’d be a very happy guy.
September also brings back football. As a diehard New England Patriots fan who has been faithfully attending home games via my dad’s season tickets since the age of 6, this brings me much joy. A crisp September/October day, putting on my Brady jersey, walking the 1/2 mile from our super secret parking spot to the stadium, being with my dad and his best friend Rick, watching a team I’ve loved all my life? There’s not much better. And since all the guys in my family are in the same fantasy league, we shoot each other texts and taunting phone calls all day to boot. Basically it is maleness in its most basic form. Good times.
But fall is more than just football and the weather.
As the leaves turn colors, I invariably make a trip out to western Massachusetts. The Berkshires. The sparsely populated portion of Massachusetts where I attended college for four years. Crammed in the upper left hand corner of the state between New York and Vermont.
To get there you should drive on the Mohawk Trail, which is a 63-mile stretch of road filled with unsurpassed beauty. Mountains, valleys, bridges, rivers. And if you go at the right time, the foliage is nothing short of heart-stopping. Every time I drive on that road it’s like someone shoots a dose of adrenaline and nostalgia into my soul. I can’t help but think of driving to school every September. Driving back to my good friends after a summer away. Back to my tiny, but wonderful college that I truly loved. Back to the Mound, our favorite bar. The newspaper office where I ran everything. But most important, it reminds me of a time in my life that was full of promise. A time when absolutely anything was possible. When classes, friends and parties were all I needed to worry about.
Not to mention the apple cider at The Apple Barn in Vermont.
And my last reason for loving the fall? Well that’s easy. I’m sure most of you have heard of Cape Cod, and I’ll bet a good portion of you have vacationed here. Some of you may have even come from out of town this summer. And while I love each and every one of you dear readers, I’d like to take this opportunity to say GET THE FUCK OFF MY PENINSULA!
Seriously, the lack of tourists is one of the best things about the fall. No more Friday and Sunday traffic jams at the bridges. And you bastards are EVERYWHERE. And since you’re on vacation, you drive like you don’t have a care in the world. Stopping suddenly to look at the bridges, turning left into every antique shop you come across and let’s not even get into your driving behavior when it comes to rotaries. Sweet Jesus people, it’s a traffic circle. The cars already in the rotary have the right of way. That’s it. Drive accordingly. What’s so friggin hard about that?? Yet some of you (and I’m looking your way here Jersey drivers) feel the need to panic and just stop in the middle of everything.
I guess it’s a little weird that I like fall so much. It is a season of decay, after all. Everything is slowly dying or hibernating in preparation for a cold, bleak winter. I guess it’s the optimist in me, poking his head out to tell me there’s still a lot of beauty in things even though they’re past their peak. That the descent into winter and a bleak frozen season doesn’t have to be filled with dread if you can just manage to enjoy the ride.