Finally a hint of autumn

A storm ushered in a cold front, dropping temperatures nearly twenty degrees. It’s been hot here in Florida. Not the baking, oppressive heat of July or early August. But hot.

There’s a beautiful ritual of fall that we miss out on down here in the Tropical South.  I call it Tropical South because it’s below the Southern States – not quite redneck heaven, but not quite Caribbean paradise either. It’s a mixed bag, and I think that’s why so much crazy shit happens in Florida.

But we don’t really get leaves changing. We don’t get the crisp autumn nights. It’s too hot for spiced apple cider, and then when it finally cools down it’s right to hot chocolate and egg nog.

But we have costumes for Halloween (hot, sweaty costumes), and we have Turkey-Day football. And come Christmas Day, most years it’s nice enough to get some down at the beach.

Like I said… A mixed bag.

Friday assembly

…Sounds like I’m in school. Okay, maybe not this one either. But here we go!

What I’m reading: Joyland by Stephen King. Another (quasi-)carnival tale, of murder, ghosts, and the shine. Just happened to dig into it, and I really enjoyed it. It wasn’t the longest Stephen King novel by any stretch of the imagination, but it wasn’t the shortest either. All in all, however, it flowed quickly and kept me engaged to see what would happen next.

What I’m listening to: Longform’s interview with Rolf Potts. When I went looking for the first interview I heard, I found a collection of interviews over at Rolf Potts’s website.

What I’m spending my time with: The AFI 100. They’ve been on my list for a while, and I’m checking them off. So far I’m fifteen films in. I’m planning on getting them all watched by the end of the year.

Other things of interest:

  • It’s fall! (Here in Florida that means it’s in the 80s… most of the time.) Here’s a recipe for slow cooker mulled cider. It’s delicious, and you can spike it per the recipe. I find brandy works well also. The last recipe I used also suggested 1 qtr. cup of maple syrup.
  • Minimalism is overrated. This article from the Wall Street Journal mentions moving past the fear of overindulging in buying.
  • AltNYC Opera’s in-development production of The Halloween Tree. Synopsis and excerpts from workshop included in the link. After reading Something Wicked &  Halloween Tree, I did a good amount of Bradbury investigating and discovered this.
  • I was introduced to this financial blog – Our Next Life. Not just about budgeting, but long-term travel and early retirement.

Chai

Ah, fall. It comes slowly here in Florida. But oh how I love that brisk fall breeze blowing in.

For as long as I can recall I’ve had a love affair with Autumn, and the thought of leaves changing (not seen much in this state), hot apple cider (not necessary in the 70-80 degree range), and bundling up (I’m still wearing shorts and tank tops) always brought me joy. Seriously, this time of year is easily one of the most amazing. It’s almost magical how life seems to slow down around now.

When you look at the world, at least here in the US, the holidays are just coming to mind. People are easier to smile for the most part. A little more considerate. It seems that once you get into December, and especially just before Christmas (maybe even that last week of November, unfortunately) the pace becomes harried again. But for now, it’s all windblown leaves and warm wishes; family time and remembering.

I think about these things when I drink hot chai tea. I’ll get it from local coffee shops, Starbucks, or the WaWa gas station. It’s been my favorite drink for years, and though I drink it year round, this time of year seems to fit it so much better.