I can tell that the fall is on its way here in Seattle. The first signs of impending autumn are the signs outside the numerous coffee shops, which all start to advertise pumpkin spice lattes and hot apple cider. The Halloween candy is starting to push the school supplies off the shelves, and—oh yes—it’s getting a bit cooler.
The temperature change is the most subtle of the clues, because it just doesn’t get that cold here in Seattle. Most of my life I’ve lived in places where you cannot escape the signs of the season. Leaves turn colors, wood smoke fills the air, and it starts to feel quite chilly. I miss that sometimes, although I seldom miss the winter weather that follows it. Still, fall remains my favorite season.
Another great thing about fall in Seattle is that the rain starts to come back on a more frequent basis. Suddenly the sky is overcast on more days of the week, and the skies will start drizzling at least once a day. I love it. Bright sunny days do not thrill me the way that they thrill others. I don’t want to squint my eyes or melt in the heat. The return of the rainy season thrills me. Soon we’ll be having full-out downpours, the sidewalks glistening as people do their holiday shopping. The horse buggies will start circling the downtown again, and the steel drummers will start playing on the corners, trying to get some coins from those out to buy presents. Seattle shows its seasons in a different way than other places I’ve lived, but the traditions here are as predictable as everywhere else.
If it should happen to snow once the winter comes, it’ll be a real event. During the three years I’ve lived here I’ve seen perhaps two inches of snow at the most, and every faint dusting sends the town into a panic. Having lived through blizzards that dumped three feet with barely a disruption in the normal routine, I find this amusing. Of course they don’t salt the steep streets here, and the city is rumored to have only one snow plow. That does make a difference.
I don’t have to worry about these false calamities right now. I’m going to enjoy my day under Seattle’s white and cloudy sky, giving thanks that I’m in a place that suits me. If I’m lucky, I’ll even get rained on. What more could I ask for?
Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:
184. What are the signs of fall where you are? Do you enjoy the season? Why or why not?