To me, there's nothing like the first couple of crisp days when fall is definitely in the air and you need a sweater to leave the house in the morning.
The first nights when you can leave the window cracked and snuggle under the feather duvet are heaven.
(It's fairly dorky to admit, but our feather duvet might be my very favorite purchase I've ever made for the house. When I was a kid my best friend's parents had one on the bed in their guest room and whenever I spent the night there the feather duvet just seemed like the most luxurious thing in the world to me. I caught one on sale a few years back and I still feel like the queen of Sheba when it's cool enough to put it on the bed. ... it's the little things in life?)
The neighborhood is quiet now during the day because the kids have gone back to school. The onslaught of tomatoes from the garden has subsided somewhat (thank goodness), and our produce consumption is turning toward winter squash and potatoes.
The peaches at the market have given way to the apples, which means that I'll be hauling a couple big boxes of seconds home because it's almost applesauce time. (Paul is super excited about applesauce time: his enthusiasm for my applesauce is second only to his enthusiasm for the bushels and bushels of corn I haul home every summer.)
At the coffee shop, lattes have replaced my summer fare of iced Americanos. The very first trees are beginning to hint at reds and oranges instead of breezy greens.
And, the best sign of fall, my pumpkin, the one I didn't even mean to plant, is turning orange. The very first pumpkin that I haven't killed, discouraged, or otherwise maimed, is ripening in our side yard. Really, it should probably be considered Jack's pumpkin, since the only reason it grew there is because I had pumpkins out for decoration in the yard last fall that I never bothered to bring in (possibly because I was ridiculously pregnant and bending over to pick them up didn't suit, and after Jack was born I spent three months curled up on the daybed doing nothing but nursing him, so that may have had something to do with the fact that they were abandoned.) But, hope springs eternal for the pumpkin, and when last year's decorations rotted, new life was born. How poetic. I just hope it finishes ripening in time for Halloween so that Jack's first jack o'lantern is one that grew because of him.