I love absolutely love fall, especially that first day where there is a slight chill in the air. In Texas, this day usually comes when it is almost winter, but last week we experienced the very temporary, heavenly feeling of the changing of the "seasons" (I use this word very loosely for the Texas climate). It's this first string of cooler days where suddenly my senses are on full alert, and everything seems more real and joyful. Even the obnoxious cawing of the seagulls in our street have become a welcome sound.
In celebration of this cooler weather, last week I went in search of my autumnal ornament-a pumpkin. I became almost giddy when I saw the large display of pumpkins in front of the grocery store. I immediately grabbed the biggest, orangest gourd I could find. As I was checking out at the store, the checker saw the pumpkin in my basket and started laughing at me. She couldn't believe the store was already selling pumpkins or that anyone would be buying one. I gave a slight smile that I hope was interpreted as "do you realize that you are making fun of me?!" She made me feel slightly ashamed for buying a pumpkin in the summer. But really. When I already have a fetish for anything fall-ish, the stores are just feeding my addiction by putting the stuff out weeks, sometimes months early.
After unloading and putting away all of the groceries at home, I was left with that giant pumpkin on my kitchen counter. "I'll just leave it there so Hubby can see it when he gets home," I thought. When he did get home later that evening, he stopped in mid-sentence as he walked into the kitchen and spotted the pumpkin on the counter. He then proceeded to laugh just like the grocery checker.
I gave the same polite smile and very sweetly reminded him that this was quite an improvement from a year ago when I had our entire apartment decorated and scented for the fall by the end of August. Hubby had spent a week out in the field in 100 degree weather, only to come home to a homemade wreath bedecked with mini-pumpkins, pumpkin spice scented candles, and our dining room table set with leaf-shaped plates with a pumpkin centerpiece. I argued that he could not possibly think I was ridiculous this year. It was only one pumpkin, and only three days early this time. He should be proud of my self-restraint.
Of course, now that Corpus Christi is back to having a heat index in the 90's, I might feel a bit silly having my pumpkin proudly displayed outside our front door. I just think of it as my pumpkin of dreams...if I have it, the cool weather will come, hopefully before I get my Christmas tree out next month.