I’ve spent my whole life in places where the seasons change: Northwest Indiana, New York City, and now Boston. Of course I complain about the extremes of hot and cold weather, but if I’m being honest with myself, I admit to liking the change of seasons.
Spring is my favorite, but it never lasts long enough anywhere I’ve lived. Fall, however, has staying power, and for some reason it’s the season that most pushes my favorite childhood nostalgia buttons.
I think it has a lot to do with memories of going back to school as a grade schooler. My brother Jeff and I were fortunate to go to a good little neighborhood public grade school in Hammond, Indiana, staffed largely by old-fashioned teachers who really cared about the kids and drilled us on the basics. I don’t have to engage in a lot of revisionist history to say that it created some good memories.
Those memories connect to holidays and historical dates associated with the fall: Columbus Day, Halloween, and finally Thanksgiving, the bridge to winter. Of course, Columbus Day and Thanksgiving were drenched in the feel-good historical fictions contained in our easy reading history books. Halloween was a calorically magical and innocent observance, replete with neighborhood trick-or-treating where the only fears about knocking on strangers’ doors were over ghosts and goblins. And some of us imagined ourselves waiting with Linus for the Great Pumpkin to appear:
Fall is a wonderful time of year in Boston. The weather is cool and comfortable, and the leaves turn colors in spectacular ways. The many historical sites from the American Revolution remind me of my childhood introduction to history, which quickly became one of my favorite subjects and remains so to this day. And not too far away is Salem, home to the real-life witch trials and some modern day tourist traps!
Today, of course, the seasons also correlate with what I do for a living. We have a fall semester and a spring semester, and I still use a personal, academic year calendar book where I write in my class schedule and various meetings by hand. Classes started this past week, and the weather has hit a classic fall-type cool patch. It’s a comforting combination for me.
Fall is my favorite time of year, too….for many of the same reasons…..the sunny, but cool days……the colors of the trees……start of school…….the inner quiet I feel 🙂 Still waiting for the cool days! Going to be 97 tomorrow 😦
Yes..Fall!! Things have changed after our generation….for example Halloween…I remember in Massachusetts we used to put our sweaters on first and then our costumes. Running all over the neighborhoods and getting both “trick” and “treat”. Going back to the best house several times hoping to not be turned away. Going inside some houses for hot cider and warm up and or bobbing for apples. My mother home answering the door for our goblins without a worry that on this night, even though we were tweens that we did not come home until late and then begin to trade our candies. That and hitch hiking to town are artifacts of our time.