It is that time of year when the masses begin to go bonkers over all things pumpkin spice. The memes which have been created to depict this craze are hilarious, partially because of the truth that lies within them. At least for most people, anyway, because I have a secret confession: I hate pumpkin. Well, I hate the taste of pumpkin, and the smell of pumpkin is not my favorite scent (that is my nice Southern way of saying, I cannot stand the smell of pumpkin), and yes, I realize I am in the rare minority. Sorry, but it’s just … not appealing to me AT ALL. However, with the exception of my disdain for pumpkin flavors and smells, I do love everything else that represents Fall. Sunflowers, cotton wreaths, leaves, pumpkins and gourds, haystacks … there is something about them that represents cozy and hearty and good. Who doesn’t love a visit to the pumpkin patch, with its obligatory hayride and corn maze? Who can resist sitting by the fire and roasting marshmellows with your cutest sweater and boots to keep you warm?? Yet … there is just one problem: it is still ridiculously hot outside, so cozy and hearty go right out the window. Who could stand a hayride when you are still in shorts and a tank top? I break out into hives just thinking about how itchy and uncomfortable that would be. And there is no way we can use real pumpkins to decorate near our front door because they would be disgusting in a matter of two to three days. Plus, no one wants anything hearty like chili with a delicious hot chocolate by the fire. Who needs a real fire when my skin feels like one if I sit outside longer than ten minutes?? As much as I love Phoenix, and can even withstand the 115 temps in the summer, Phoenix fails me when Fall comes around. It does not feel like Fall. It does not look like Fall. It does not smell like Fall, and it does not taste like Fall (except for you Pumpkin Spice lovers). Let’s face it, it is NOT Fall in Phoenix, it’s summer 2.0.
So, when my friends back East and in the Midwest tell me about the cooler evenings for Friday night football, I try not to get jealous. When they are leaving their windows open during the day and setting out their Fall decorations with real pumpkins they will carve soon for Halloween, I do my best to celebrate with them. And when they talk to me about their upcoming bonfire get togethers, I promise myself this one thing … Come January, it will be my turn to boast in my good fortune of beautiful weather on the patio as they are plodding through slush and ice yet again. My dear Phoenix, you may fail at Fall, but somehow, you have nailed this winter thing.