Fall is the smell of burning wood mixed with cold air. That fresh scent that can hit you when you’re driving down country roads and you can smell the mixture of wood and leaves that someone must be tending to in their backyard.
It is the taste of grilled sausage high up in the Appalachian Mountains. We cooked everything on that little grill: eggs, sausage, grilled cheese sandwiches, steaks, potatoes, corn… whatever we cooked had the hint of charcoal and wood. It’s the sound of laughter as she sets another marshmallow on fire trying to make S’mores. It is the sound of the first few patters of rain on a tent fly. It is the sound of leaves crunching under your feet as you keep telling yourself “just one more mile, I need more time.” It is the icy bite of Nantahala River and the joy of watching people learn how to navigate with kayaks and rafts.
Fall is the excited chatter of football among friends. Planning tailgate parties to celebrate this team or that. It is the smell of beer and nachos and a newly lit furnace. It is the close warmth of a living room full of old friends and the warm handshake of new ones.
For me, it is also the smell of “outside” on my dog’s fur. The slight smell of snow, wet dog, and campfire that nestles itself deep into his coat and makes my apartment feel like home. It is being free from the worry if it will be too hot outside for his feet or if I have brought enough sun block to cover myself for a few hours. It is having the windows rolled down and the radio turned up and watching the leaves rain down behind my car. It is gathering friends together and going through haunted houses in a huddled group and hearing the screams of other participants as they wander through.
Fall is clutching hot cocoa in your hands and wondering why you *still* haven’t bought gloves. The smell of moth balls as you pull your favorite sweaters out of storage. It is the feeling of disappointment as you put away the swimsuit from the summer and you realize that you have yet to wear it (and yet to lose those last 10 pounds you wanted to shed before putting it on).