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Harris Blackwood: Savoring sights, smells, tastes of fall — minus pumpkin spice
Harris Blackwood
Harris Blackwood

It’s been a decent summer. 

Lake Lanier has been right at full pool since spring. We have had a good mix of sun and rain. I wouldn’t go as far as to call it perfect, but it was good.

But now, I’m ready for fall.

I like when that cool morning crispness begins to show itself in the predawn hours. I enjoy pulling out a sweatshirt or a sweater at the start of day. I like football played in the fall.

I like the things that seem to go with fall, like boiled peanuts, homemade jams and jellies, soups and stews that taste so good at the right time of year.

I like when a neighbor’s fireplace sends the aroma of hardwood wafting down the street.

I like when we start practicing Christmas music for the Living Christmas Tree at First Baptist Church. It reminds me that this season I like will move on through and make way for winter.

There are a lot of places that sell pumpkins. I enjoy seeing them on display. However, I do not want my beverage to taste like or my bathroom to smell like pumpkin spice.

There is a funny video circulating on the Internet of a police officer in Southlake, Texas, spraying a traffic ticket with a pumpkin spice air freshener. It made me laugh.

I like riding through the mountains and viewing the various stages of the leaves as they go from green to red and gold. Last year, I went to New England for the leaf season. It is something to see and I highly recommend it.

If you find yourself in Woodstock, New Hampshire, stop by Fadden’s General Store and say hello to Jim. Next door is a restaurant the family owns with the best pancakes and plenty of maple syrup.

I love to see people in love in the fall. I saw a couple who looked to be in their 70s and they were walking around holding hands like teenagers. I love to offer to take a picture of a loving couple, especially when they snuggle up to one another.

I love to sit out front on Halloween night and watch cute little kids come up in search of candy. I do not like it when the adults with them seem to want candy, too.

I love the lead-up to Thanksgiving. I love when someone’s grandmother slaves over a stove for days getting ready for the whole family to converge on her house. I am saddened when adult children are all fretful that mama is doing too much. She may be worn out on Friday, but she loves fixing that big meal for you. As long as she is able, let her do it.

The downer on the fall to winter trip is missing those who have died. There are so many memories that are made during this wonderful season. Store them away in your mind, so that when you have that sad moment, you can reflect on the good times.

It won’t be long before that beautiful gold or red leaf comes cascading down as you watch on a fall morning. Drink it in ... but not with pumpkin spice.

Harris Blackwood is a Gainesville resident whose columns appear on the Sunday Life page.