4 Reasons Why Autumn is the Best Season

red leaves on tree in Autumn
Autumn can’t come soon enough for me.

As of this past Sunday, summer officially ended.

And I’m glad.

Sure, summer’s fun. Like most people, I travelled a bit, took fun trips to Block Island and New York City, and I visited my mother a few times.

But Autumn is the best season of the year.

Why? I’ll suspend my no-more-list-posts rule to give you 4 reasons.

1) Cities become cities again

The two metropolitan areas I’ve lived in longest – Washington, DC and Tucson, AZ – slow down a lot in summer. For their own particular reasons (Congress is in recess, Tucson is FREAKIN HOT) and for reasons they share (college kids are gone, families vacation.)

Traffic may be better in summer, but it’s too quiet. I live in cities for a reason – to clamor with the masses and suffer the consequences. Last week while I drove to the store, somebody blared their car horn at me when I hesitated a split second to make a turn. There’s no surer sign that summer is behind us.

Traffic Jam Over Memorial Bridge Washington, DC
An evening traffic jam over Memorial Bridge — that’s more like it!

Everyone gets busier in Fall. Work picks up, kids go back to school, volunteering and sports start up again. This is a good thing. The city is more stressful, but it’s supposed to be.

2) Cooler temperatures are good for you

Once it cools off, I am reminded of how much I hated the heat, which made me cranky and sweaty and a bit of a load.

Colder weather keeps us moving. Also, it’s good for you. It may promote longevity, according to recent research, and it helps burn more calories and reduce inflammation.

Also, see point #1.

But there’s going to be less cold weather, if this global warming thing keeps up. I believe global warming makes us lazy. Which means we won’t do enough to stop it.

So appreciate the benefits of cooler temperatures while they last, and get stuff done!

3) Socks

I get to wear shoes with socks again. Yes, I wear socks. I know women aren’t supposed to wear them anymore, because the dreaded ballet flat has taken over women’s footwear, and this is a disaster.

Why? First of all, women should instinctively recoil at anything fashioned after ballet slippers, the torture devices of classical dance.

Ballet pointe shoe

Have you seen the movie, “Black Swan”? Better question: How does any ballerina stay sane after dancing on pointe for hours every day?

Ballet flats may be cute, but they’re also flimsy, scratchy, and constricting. I loathe the feeling of closed-toe shoes without socks. Admit it, it’s gross! Your feet sweat more, your feet hurt more, and you get more blisters.

Oh I’ve tried to tolerate ballet flats – I bought 5 pairs in the last two years. I’ve worn them repeatedly and still can’t stand them.

Those stupid little ballet slipper-socks don’t work, either. What we used to call PEDS. They constantly fall off. I hated peds when I was young and I hate them now.

Who’s the sadistic fashion designer who decided to banish socks from our wardrobe? Who is this reverse-Taliban fanatic – forcing women to wear less instead of more?

What happened to progress??

Socks were established by industrialists for a reason – they WORK.

ballet flat shoes
Admit it — ballet flats hurt, too.

Now that it’s Autumn, it’s time to welcome socks back into our lives, and reject the ballet flat for good. It’s my personal crusade.

Not that anyone has noticed.

4) Autumn Colors

You’ll note that I didn’t say autumn leaves. That’s because leaves fall and have to be raked. I don’t look forward to that.

There’s an old willow oak tree in front of my house. Its leaves are long and skinny (like a willow), so when they fall, they flutter everywhere and get in everything. Like little birds, the willow oak leaves catch the slightest breeze and float all the way over my roof and into my backyard.

They fill my gutters and clog my downspout.

They aren’t even pretty – they go straight from green to brown.

Willow Oak leaves
Willow oak leaves — my tormentors in Autumn.

Willow oak leaves are HELL to rake. They’re too small for the tines of a rake, and too flat and narrow for a broom.

The neighbor with the leaf blower has become my best friend.

Autumn colors are the things to celebrate – those yellow, orange, and red leaves still on trees. The brilliant hues that leaf-peeping pilgrims spend a few billion dollars on to see in New England every year.

I was a desperate leaf peeper when I lived in Tucson. Every fall, I drove an hour up Mount Lemmon – the 9,000-foot peak in the mountains north of Tucson – just to view a small grove of rare Maple trees sporting red and yellow leaves.

Now I can just stroll around Old Town to get my fall-color fix. And wait for my neighbor with the leaf blower to clear my front sidewalk.

Welcome back, Autumn!