This post is by Joe Stephens
I wrote a few months back about how summer is the weekend of the year, which might lead readers to think that it’s my favorite time of year. It really isn’t. There are things I love about every season (though, as I age, that’s less and less true of winter), but fall, hands down, has to be my favorite season. And this year it’s extra special for me, though I’ll save that for a later post. And just to clarify, I define fall as the period from September 1 to December 31. I know that winter technically starts earlier in December, but I don’t care. My brain, my rules. So here are three reasons why fall is the best.
- Convertible weather. As a convertible driver, I contend that autumn, especially (though not exclusively) the first half of it, is truly the perfect time of year. Summer is just too sweltering, especially with a black interior. I parked my car in front of my house earlier this summer with the top down for just a short while, not more than a half hour. When I sat back down to leave, wearing shorts, I proved that it is actually possible for a human being to fly into orbit without aid of a rocket. You just don’t have that in fall. The temperatures become more moderate and, even if you need a hoodie, it’s perfect top-down weather. And when it gets a little nippy even for having the top down, the weather is just cool enough to really enjoy. A light jacket during the day and a coat at night, being able to sleep with the window open, and campfires where the fire is actually for warmth instead of just roasting marshmallows are the best ever.
- Fall sports. My two favorite sports to watch–by a really wide margin–are volleyball and football. Back when I was in school and for a few years after I started teaching, volleyball was a winter sport here in my area, which was good in that my two favorite sports didn’t interfere with each other, but I think I like it better this way. Now I get all the best sports in one big smorgasbord and then I can take the winter off to hunker down in my chair and write. But I simply love watching football (all levels) and volleyball, especially the ladies team from my school. I’m their unofficial designated fan. I’m the only non-parent who attends entire tournaments with them. Even the girls who aren’t my actual students come to know me. I campaign every year for a job as a ball boy, but so far, I remain disappointed.
- All the best holidays and special events. I often joke with my kids that the holiday season kicks off on September 17, my birthday. But the reality is that the best, most fun holidays are all crammed into this season. It really starts at school with Homecoming. Everybody dresses up in theme costumes all week, we have a thuse (thuse is what they call a pep rally at my school), the game is widely attended by alumni, and there are all kinds of special events during the game. It’s one of those weeks that make school memorable in a good way. Then, in quick succession come the two huge observances of the year. The period between Thanksgiving and Christmas just seems like one giant extended holiday. There are constant parties and special events in the community, at school, and in church. I’m always exhausted by the last day of school before winter break, but it’s a happy kind of exhausted. To be specific, two events that simply make the holiday season for me are the tree lighting ceremony and the Acapella choir concert. When the time comes, I’m going to dedicate an entire post just to those events. They are truly special. And this is in addition to the fact that Thanksgiving and Christmas are the Titans of holidays. True, as a Christian, Easter is almost literally the kind of observances, but in terms of sheer family fun and celebration value, nothing compares with Thanksgiving and Christmas, each of which is nearly a week long event among my family and friends.
So there you have it–three reasons why the coming four months are the best four months of the calendar. Yes, the other three seasons are fine, but if life were a movie, fall’s name would come before the title and the other three would the ones whose names follow, “And featuring…” They play important parts, but the name before the title is the reason you bought the ticket.
Joe Stephens is a teacher at Parkersburg High School. He is also the author of Harsh Prey and Kisses and Lies, both of which are available in paperback and Kindle formats. The paperback may be purchased from
Amazon, from J & M Used Book Store in Parkersburg, and from the author’s trunk.
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