As we approach the dog days of Summer, I can’t stop dreaming of a crisp, fresh air of an Autumn morning in the North. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy summertime just as much as anybody else, but come on. If you have lived in the northern half of the United States, I’m sure you know what I am talking about.
The weather is amazing. You can wear a light sweatshirt and jeans, a hooded sweatshirt and shorts, a jacket and leggings, boots, and flannels. Be careful though and be sure to dress in layers, especially if you live in Minnesota. I truly feel that you get to dress the comfiest in Autumn because you aren’t overly bundled up, but you aren’t exposed to the public eye. Girls seem to love the outfits they get to pick out, and to be honest I love the outfits as well. I like wearing jeans, sweatshirts, flannels, and the colors of the clothing are pretty great too.
Autumn isn’t just known for the weather, it is also known for its colors. The tree leaves turning to rich golds, reds, oranges, yellows, and browns. The reflection of these trees against a body of water is breath taking in Minnesota, and tree lined roads in the North East make for excellent drives or road trips, or a mountainside covered in trees with different colored leaves in the west are all amazing sights to see. Fields turning from a green to light yellow, as they are harvested by the farmers who planted them. Have you ever seen a picture of a combine sitting in a field with a rustic sunset in the background? I suggest you google it.
With the end of summer approaching, the school supplies are being stocked in stores, I jump in excitement knowing that Autumn is around the corner. Autumn means that kids will get to see their school friends again, meet their new teachers, and parents get a break from their children. Those of you who hate school, try remembering your first day of Kindergarten and how exciting that was, or your first year of High School and the fear and excitement you had. The excitement of Friday night football games, the nervousness of talking to your crush, or the awkwardness of hitting puberty. I remember August very vividly, two a days started for football and I hated the heat, but once those Fridays rolled around, it was all worth it. Being out on the field in the crisp weather looking back at the fans sporting the school colors. Nothing beat it. That is until I went to college.
I remember walking around campus as a freshman. It was magical. Everybody I saw was new. Nobody knew me, but everybody was in the same boat. You could be anyone you wanted to be and start fresh, or continue to be who you were in high school. Either way, I think you did it right, because college was about finding out who you were. I loved college, and every time the leaves changed and the weather got cooler, I got excited for classes to start up and for campus to repopulate. Now that I am done with college, it brings back memories of those days, and nights, partying with friends I loved, and going to the classes I hate-loved.
Autumn in college is hands down the best time of the year. Football starts, the parties start, and the fun begins. Tailgating might be the best thing ever created, you can argue me all you want, but I won’t budge. I remember the first time I ever tailgated. I was standing by my buddy’s pick-up with the tailgate down, everyone had a beer or cider in hand and we were playing bags or corn-hole, if you will. The grill had burgers, brats, and another meat, duck. I had never had duck before and once I tried it, I was hooked. I looked forward to the next day of tailgating because of it, but also because I loved the fun that it brought and the joy of being with friends as we got pepped up for a good old fashioned game of pigskin.
At the college I attended we had a great hockey team. The season usually started at the middle to end of Autumn, so when the weather got even cooler, it got me excited for hockey to start. Autumn weather was amazing to stand in line waiting to get into the games. It was the perfect time right before the coldness got unbearable.
Now, before I get into the activities that come with the Autumn season, I want to remind you that some of them might come off as “basic” or “girly”, so for any manly-men who don’t like these activities I want you to re-read the above over and over until you realize that, yes, you too, enjoy Autumn and secretly love these following activities.
Apple Orchards- How sweet is it that you can go pick a bunch of deliciously sweet apples and not needing to sweat your balls off to do so? You can take a girl on a romantic, cute date and not be set back a ton of money, and girls can get their cute picture with their boyfriends dressed in their ugg boots, vests and long sleeve shirts, standing next to a guy with some scruffy facial hair and flannel shirt. Plus, even if your single you get to eat some apples.
Pumpkin Patches- Same as the Apple Orchard, except you take pictures holding your pumpkin you picked to carve with a caption of “Look at the size of this one” or “We found the perfect pumpkins” (I have no clue what people actually caption them to be honest)
Hayrides- These come hand in hand with Apple Orchards and Pumpkin Patches, but they get their own point because they are just fun. Either riding behind a tractor, or being pulled by horses. Rolling through the country side seeing all the color and scenery that you don’t usually get to see during the other three seasons is pretty amazing.
Corn mazes- The cornstalks are browned and harvested, and now they are turned into a maze. Corn is tall as fuck, and even the tallest people can get lost in these mazes. I’m 6’5, and I can attest to that. These may be frustrating, but they are fun with the right people.
Winery- For those of you who are of legal drinking age, you can visit a winery. If you happen to live in the Napa Valley area, you probably have done this, but there are wineries all over. I know there are a few in Minnesota, and I bet there might be one out on the North East area. I suggest checking out your local area for potentials.
Petting Zoos- You can bring your kids or a date to these. Nobody hates animals, and if you do, I hate you.
Bake a Pie- Nobody hates pie.
Touch Football- Girls, guys, children, adults, and old people can play. You can gather up your friends and family and play a semi or fully-competitive game of two hand touch football. Even the worst player in the world can enjoy it because your with friends and family and nobody TRULY cares if they win or lose when it comes down to it. Maybe in the heat of the moment, but at the end of the day its the memories and the fun you created with those you love.
Oktoberfest- Beer. Great beer, and good food. Big celebrations. You can find celebrations probably anywhere if you take a look at your computer and use google.
Halloween- Now, I know this “Holiday” has haters and lovers, but come on, its pretty great. Carving pumpkins and decorating your house in black and orange doesn’t sound awesome to you? How about going to haunted houses, or haunted trail rides? Watching scary movies with a group of friends, or watching them with your sweet something and holding each other as you both pretend you aren’t shitting your pants at every noise you hear after the movie ends, doesn’t sound amazing to you?
Thanksgiving- Thanksgiving is at the end of fall, when the weather can be super cold, and the leaves are basically completely fallen off the trees. Football is in full force during this Holiday, and is specifically shown on this day. It’s the fourth Thursday of November, and it is incredible. There is so much food and celebrating. My family usually cuts coupons and looks at the paper for the next day, Black Friday. Everyone eats a smorgasbord of food and watches football as they fall into a “food-coma”.
Black Friday- I honestly am not the biggest fan of this day, and have never participated, but its a big day in Autumn. Everyone gets their deals and starts preparing for Christmas (or any gift giving Holiday) and they go crazy in the process. Its the only truly frightening thing of fall, yes, even more frightening than Halloween.
Fishing- Get out on the lake, before the ice covers it and enjoy the last remaining days of fishing on open water. Even if you don’t like fishing, the weather is good, and what better way of viewing the trees full of color than on a body of water?
Hunting- I know there are haters of the sport of hunting, but aside from animals dying, its amazing. I only recently got into the sport, but holy shit, let me tell you. Waking up at 4am to make it to the right spot and hunkering down after setting up decoys and waiting for the sun to rise is pretty breath taking (literally sometimes its so cold its hard to breathe). When your laying out in a field, or next to a body of water, and you hear the birds and the geese and ducks waking up and chirping, quacking, or honking, its awesome. Your eyes dart up towards the skyline waiting for the first wave of flyers above. Pheasant hunting is also a top activity. Driving out to a spot and waiting until the approved time to start hunting is pretty great. Usually you go with friends and family, and a couple of dogs. The waiting is a great time to converse with the company you’re with, and the dogs excitement will bring a smile to your face. It’s incredible how they know they are about to hunt, and watching a dog go on point is pretty awesome.
Autumn is the best season, and if you still disagree with me, keep re-reading this until reality hits you, or you can simply go out this Autumn, close your eyes, take a deep, cool breath through your nose and smell the air. Open your ears and hear the crunch of the leaves, and tell me you don’t get chills down your spine.
As always, your liberal hating tree hugger,