5 Things Iowans Love About Fall

autumn fallen maple leaves isolated on white backgroundI’m a life-long Iowan, and fall is my favorite season.  Let me tell you why. 

Football.  Across the Nation, people get stoked about football; fantasy football, NFL games and of course, collegiate goodness.  And in Iowa, no game trumps the Iowa vs Iowa State rivalry.  It’s an intense day, and despite predictions there’s simply no way to know what might happen.  Cyclones and Hawkeyes get out their best team gear, prepare loads of tailgate-friendly food, and talk tons of shit for weeks (sometimes months) leading up to the big game.  And game day is upon us.  Once my Cyclones post a win, I can turn my focus to my fantasy team, The Cheeky Beavers.  And I’ll eat up (almost) every day of football through my favorite season of the year.

Pumpkin Stuff.  If it’s pumpkin, I like it.  Pumpkin lattes, pumpkin bars (especially the ones with cream cheese frosting), pumpkin-spice scented candles, pumpkin candies…and real-live pumpkins.  I like the funky ones.  Goofy shapes, lots of warts, weird colors.  The perfect ones are great, but the non-standard are what I go for.  Perhaps it’s that my favorite colors is orange, but pumpkin stuff ranks up there with soft things (which I’m unable to walk past in a store without touching), and sweet things (which I’m unable to stop eating).  Pumpkin stuff makes me happy and tends to be seasonal.  Just another reason, fall is my favorite.

Leaves.  I enjoy a lovely palm tree swaying in the breeze.  And I appreciate a lovely cherry blossom. But the most beautiful sight is a wooded Iowa terrain coated in a pallet of fall colors.  Every shade of red and orange and yellow, with a hint of fading green.  When the leaves begin to change it’s like living on an ever-changing canvas.  And I dig that.  It only lasts a few beautiful weeks, and only during the months of fall.  

That Smell.  It’s when you walk outside and the scent is crisp and cool.  It’s that hint of summer struggling to remain, mixed with an impending winter waiting it’s turn.  It’s a brand new pig skin, burning wood, and apple everything.  It’s an old sweater and cup of hot coffee protecting you from a brisk wind.  It’s just fall.  They say that smells is the strongest sense, and most intensely affects the brain and stimulates memory.  Fall just smells a certain way, and every year when it rolls around my happiness is off the charts.

Sweats.  I enjoy the social acceptability of sweats during the fall season.  There’s nothing better than ill-fitted sweat pants and an old-worn hoodie.  Although I look like a cross between a homeless person and a small man, I don’t mind.  I can get away with no undies and no bra at the grocery store, and nobody knows.  I’m warm as can be when a cool wind blows, but can quickly strip to a t-shirt or tank to cool down.  Layers of sweats are a glorious fall fashion statement.

Fall rocks my world.  It’s an amazing transformative season, and in Iowa, it doesn’t get better.

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