As we age, moments that were once taken for granted begin to increase in substance and significance. When referring to certain milestones, they can simply be described as occurring on a particular day of the week or month of the year.
Unlike many people to the north and south of us, Long Islanders have the additional option to describe past recollections and future endeavors by the season in which they occur. Long Island’s location on the planet, as well as its aesthetic landscape, provides us with dramatic changes every three months or so. The hours in a day, disparities of temperature, the clothes we wear, and the activities we perform are literally at the mercy of the weather.
Almost everyone has a favorite season. And for many, one or more that they merely tolerate or even dread. In what may seem like the blink of an eye, you can go from shoveling 2 feet of snow in bone-chilling cold to being on a never-ending quest for air conditioning while attempting to survive a record-breaking heat wave.
Although there are many things I like about winter, spring, and summer, my favorite season is definitely fall. As I watch tree branches sway from a cool breeze, I become both nostalgic and optimistic. More so than at any other time of the year. My fondness for fall is due to personal preference, as well as circumstance.
My preferences for fall, I’m sure, are shared by many. There is a common saying: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” I doubt anyone would disagree with the notion that the changing leaves are anything but beautiful. This majestic landscape provided by nature is one of the main reasons for brides desiring a wedding date during this time. Just the sight of them can put me into a relaxed state of mind. Temperatures in the low to mid-70s, with a slight breeze and overcast sky, are a welcome relief to my sensitive, Irish complexion.
For someone like me who has a hard time falling asleep, the shorter days and longer nights often function as a natural sedative. And in our overzealous body-shaming society, the need for additional clothing can help camouflage any self-described imperfections.
As for circumstance, many of my favorite events happen to occur at this time each year. I have been retired from the NYPD for more than seven years now. Since then, I have become accustomed to doing things a certain way. I love my wife and boys very much, but having them home each summer can be quite challenging. My wife is a teacher, and all of my children are in grade school. To say they cramp my style is an understatement.
So, when school resumes after Labor Day, I feel as though I won the lottery. Although I consider myself a fan of all sports, I am an absolute lunatic when it comes to football. When the NY Giants kick off their first game, I am literally bursting with excitement. As opposed to the final whistle of the Super Bowl, when I often feel as though I am attending a wake. I’m immediately commencing a countdown to the start of the next season.
There are holidays throughout the year, but the best ones, in my opinion, begin in the fall. You are never too old for Halloween. From pumpkin picking to decorating and buying candy for the kids, the entire month of October feels like a party.
November brings a little more chill to the air, and the beginning of family celebrations. Every weekend is a dinner at some relative’s house, concluding with a massive feast for Thanksgiving. Family, food and football. What more could you ask for? Literally, the next day, my family and I spend hours adorning my house for Christmas.
As fanatical as I am about football, my wife is even crazier when it comes to holiday decorating. Technically, Christmas occurs during the first week of winter season, but it’s still close enough for me to consider it another part of fall.
I’m sure I can think of many other reasons for favoring the autumn months, but I believe I have made a solid case for doing so. The most important reason though, occurred on Oct. 16, 1993. That’s the day I married my wife.
— Scott Thomson, Bohemia