Fall. Who Knew? I Guess Everybody Except Me.

When we decided to move to the DC area, besides The Kennedy Center and good Chinese food, one of the things I was looking forward to the most was fall.

You see, I lived in Florida for 21 years. We didn’t have four seasons there. Florida has two seasons – Hurricane Season and Slightly Less Hot Season. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the weather in Tampa. I love the sun, I love the Gulf of Mexico, I have never had to drive in snow or ice. Still, I was excited to have an autumn.

A couple of months ago the leaves began to turn. I was so excited! I live in a fantastic neighborhood that has huge trees. Several of these trees are in my yard. Right when things started getting really pretty I took this picture to taunt my mother who still lives in Florida.
Autumn Leaves

Fall truly is beautiful. The trees in Northern Virginia are red and yellow and orange and amazing. However, there were some things about Autumn that people failed to mention.

1) Raking is a Pain in the Ass. I know what you are all thinking. You are thinking Well, Duh. Fine. I admit it. I didn’t know. I have actually spent little to none of my life thinking about raking, until this year anyway. I used only think about the trees in my yard if it was time to get them hurricane trimmed. Now I can’t ignore them. Plus, if you try to ignore them, even for three days, your neighbors might come rake for you.

2) Wet Leaves Suck. Wet leaves are really scary to drive on. What happened to my traction? Plus, they are really hard to rake.

3) Fall is Cold. Since Spring was mild and lovely, I assumed fall would be mild and lovely as well. Not so much. It was 38 degrees here the other night. Did you hear me? I SAID 38 DEGREES! Oh sure, all you Canadians are laughing at me, but screw that. 38 degrees is cold. I had to use my fireplace.

4) Laundry. When it gets cold the laundry situation gets out of control. It isn’t that we change more often, it is just that the clothes are so much bigger that I feel like I am doing three times as much laundry as I do in the summer. What the hell? Somebody could have mentioned this before I had two kids.
I can’t wait for Winter. I’m sure it will be perfectly charming.

* Inspired by and written for Blogging For Books over at The Zero Boss.

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  1. sarah – you don’t have to rake – don’t you have a blower? or mow over them – much faster. good luck!

  2. Exactly! More reasons why I don’t ever want to leave my beloved Florida. Although, I too miss the wonderous colors of Fall but, pictures work for me.

    As a little girl, I remember thinking that there were only 3 seasons in Va., Spring, Summer, and Winter. Winter just had two parts, cold and pretty then cold,muddy and not-so-pretty.

  3. Okay-this is my first time on your blog. Your header is to DIE for. LOL! Wanted to let you know that I put you on the whitetrashmom blogroll AND the whitetrashmom HALL OF FAME blogroll. Be honored or be offended—-love the blog. Will be back!

  4. Moving from Seattle to Los Angeles left fall in the wake, and man, I miss it.

    I’ll take some cold nights in front of the fireplace over these 85 degree “Autumn” days anytime.

    Just let the damn neighbor rake the leaves.

  5. I used to live in FL and now we live in the DC area, too. DC has some weird weather. You never know what it’ll do in the fall. I’m all decked out in a sweater and then it ends up being 70 in November. It could drive you nuts.

    Rearding trees: My link above is about the tree that fell on our house this past July. See, DC is strange.

  6. I lived up north and THEN moved to Florida for those very same reasons girl. I have tons of negative comments for you about winter. But I’ll hold my tongue. I’m sure winter will be beautiful for you girl. :)

  7. Here in Ohio, people have been out raking their leaves and blowing their leaves and generally trying to make their little yards as perfect as possible. I watch them from the comfort of my couch and then I laugh when the other fall weather we get every year comes around: wind.

    Last Thursday, when I walked out of my class at 5:30, there was a snow squall hitting the area. There was a dusting of snow on my lawn when I came home from work that night. It was cold and blustery. Today? The forecast is calling for a high of 65 degrees.

  8. fall is nice for the first few days. yes, yes, the leaves sure are pretty to look at…and then they FALL. and it gets cold. yes, ma’am. fall sucks.

  9. Britt is right. Just mow right over those leaves! My husband and I were fascinated to learn that little tip from our neighbor, Vern (that’s right, I said “Vern”).

  10. We don’t have to rake because the hurricane force winds just blow them into the ocean. I left Tahoe and it was 72. When I arrived in Skagway, it was 21. Yes, 21. Then it snowed the first snow the next day. Welcome home. Today it is 27 and there is 2 inches of snow on the ground. We have 2 seasons here. F-ing cold, and a little less F-ing cold.

  11. I am SO laughing at you right now.

  12. I don’t think there was any raking of leaves on The Dark Side. Because as soon as you could say “rake” it was time to get out the snow shovel. We had 6 feet of snow in our front yard. All. Winter. Long. (Which last six months, by the way.) The last snow was in April (can you say Jack Torrence?) and the last of it melted in June. Oh, and we got two hours — TWO hours! — of light during the day. I damn near kissed the ground when we landed in Florida.

  13. Oh yeah. Raking leaves. I remember that. You rake them, and then, before you know it, you have to rake them again. And again. And again.

    They’re real pretty before they fall though.

  14. Welcome to fall my friend. Grab your rake. Join me would you?…I need some help in my yard!

  15. Yes, mow over them. MUCH easier. As for cold, being that I am Canadian, YES… I am laughing at you. As for crazy fall weather, you’re right, it is. Enjoy the upcoming winter!

  16. Here’s what we did about our leaves this year: Nothing. I made piles a couple of times for Raisin to jump in, but never got them bagged up before the wind blew them all over the place again.

    Then last week the youth group from the church down the street stopped by and asked if they could rake them for free. (I said yes.) They needed a service project and they didn’t have enough raking for all the kids.

    My 80-year-old neighbor raked his own leaves, and he’s a member of that church.

    I rock.

  17. Mr Stapler has been talking about this job offer he has in Rhode Island. I am a 4th generation Californian. Should I Just Say No? Despite the fact that we cannot even begin to approach paying the mortgage here even with 2 good incomes?

  18. OMG


    Really, trade?

    I’ll rake leaves any day over trim freaking evergreen plants and cut grass that grows all flipping year.

    I’ll shovel snow over firebomb and smoke out the mosquitos in the yard. All year long.

    I’ll deal with 38 degree nights over 90 OBSCENE DEGREES in NOVEMBER.

    Who sweats at Thanksgiving? Me apparently.

    Yeah, two years into the land that has two seasons just like FL: Hurricane and Slightly Less Roast You in your Skin Hot.

    I feel like a tamale.

  19. I hate to break it to you, but if you think it’s cold now, you’re really in for it. We have had an incredibly mild fall so far. I’m keeping my fingers crossed we don’t get nailed by the cold in the next month or two. BTW, I’m on the other side of the Chesapeake.

  20. Ahhh plsssssss. You call that cold……? :-)) Hahahahha. Sounds like the best summer day of teh year in Sweden. Not good comparing to Florida since everything will be colder. U miss it much?


  21. I think the “pretty” outweighs the “inconvenient” at least as far as I’m concerned. It’s a nice time of year ’round here.

  22. I am Canadian and yes I am laughing at you. 😉 Even though it’s still not quite that cold in Toronto yet during the day.

  23. Do not leave your house when it snows. Imagine a bunch of people like you (from warm climates, unused to weather-related driving techniques) all freaking out on the roads together. It is not a pretty picture. I don’t know about N. Va, but in DC people lose their minds when it snow a quarter inch.

  24. Ummm. It’s snowing here today. So, yes. Wet leaves suck. We’ve got almost 4 inches already.

  25. The mention of your neighbor raking your leaves reminded me of a story. Rather than taking up space in your comments, I did a post on it . . .


    I enjoyed your post. I love fall – I’m just glad that I live in a highrise so I don’t have to deal with raking leaves. For my husband and I, that would be Reason #872 Not to Buy a House. :-)

  26. Four seasons are kind of overrated. And having moved from the east coast to the home of The Greatest Snow on Earth, I can tell you that east coast winters may not be as cold but they are more brutal–the humidity makes the cold seep into your BONES, I think, and no skiing (or, in my case, apres-ski) to take the edge off. Good luck, babes, and here’s to fleece and riding power mowers with leaf vacuums. Guess you’re not pissed at that leaf-raking nabe now, are ya? :)

  27. Your Mother says:

    You can always come back to Florida sweetie! We’ll just let Nanner send us pictures of the pretty leaves.

  28. You noticed the laundry thing, too? Man, it sucks!

    And I tried to leave a comment about Ian’s red hexagon comment, but something was wrong with the page. I was going to say I’ve given up on understanding the kids’ statements most of the time. Last night Bryce was crying in bed. I walked in and asked what he needed. He said, “how does a boat sail without a motor?” WTF?

  29. LOL! I think fall is only pretty in the pictures!

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