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EVERYTHING KING: All set to fall back into autumn

In this week's Everything King, Wendy rhymes off all of her favourite parts of the season, from changing colours and hot cider to maybe even a fireside chat with George Clooney
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Guess what? It's almost sweater weather!

Fall officially arrives Thursday, Sept. 22 and ends Wednesday, Dec 21.

Of course, this is incorrect.

By my estimation autumn, if we are lucky, lasts about three weeks before weather turns gross — as in wintry.

Summer lover, you have had your iced capps and coolers. Now it's time for pumpkin spice and hot cider.

I am a fall girl, so I must rush to enjoy each fleeting moment. I love everything about it from the campfire smells to the harvest flavours to the cozy feel.

Has there ever been a more perfect memory than fall camping with a nip in the air? Your dad pulled out the little green Coleman stove, in a roadside park and burned some bread on the grate? In my memory, it was the best toast I ever tasted. Even the kerosene smelled pretty good!

Picture it: A remote cabin in the woods (but with indoor plumbing and wifi). Most of the biting bugs are dead. It’s a Hallmark wish, I suppose, with quaint surroundings, a warm blanket, some cider and popcorn, a good book, and some music for background. While I’m dreaming, let us assume George Clooney is available for a brief fireside chat — maybe in his jeans and a white shirt?

Even outdoor chores in the fall don’t seem as strenuous. Of course, there is garden clean-up, but at least it doesn’t have to be done in the blazing sun. There is leaf-raking, too, but I always liked that gig as I made a giant pile of leaves to jump in. Throwing the dog in the middle was always fun.

I have recently read that for the environment, it's best to let sleeping leaves lie. According to the David Suzuki Foundation, “those brown, dead leaves are the planet’s butterfly nursery. They’re home to butterfly larvae, microbes and worms. Leaf litter is where many species of butterflies and moths overwinter as pupae.  Animals like toads and salamanders benefit from leaf litter to hide and hunt.”

I always loved both the look of a yard of leaves and the crunching beneath my feet. I suppose this is personal choice, because city bylaws and your neighbours may have differing views. Adjust your raking accordingly.

But can we all agree it's the prettiest season? The tapestry of multi-coloured leaves can even make that boring highway commute seem pleasant.

I recall, as a kid, being slumped down in the backseat of the car while my parents drove around exclaiming: “Look at the colours! Sit up and look at the pretty scenery. Oh, look at that red one!”

My reply: “Whatever. You’ve seen one tree, you’ve seen them all.”

I have gotten much smarter since then and can appreciate the beauty that was passing by me.

Fall has all the fun occasions, too, with Thanksgiving (in Canada) and Hallowe’en.

Have you seen the fantastic house decorations in the stores? You should have. They’ve been out since May!

My house looks best in autumn with the rich colours, the mums, cornstalks, gourds, and pumpkins.

Time to slow down a bit and take in a farmers' market, fall fair, pick apples, find a sunflower field, or visit a corn maze.

I realize some of you are sad with the passing of summer, but honestly, the best is yet to come.

Go grab your sweater. George may be waiting!

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About the Author: Wendy King

Wendy King writes about all kinds of things from nutrition to the job search from cats to clowns — anything and everything — from the ridiculous to the sublime. Watch for Wendy's column weekly.
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