Ever since I can remember fall has always been my favorite time of year. The smell in the air, the leaves cascading down from the trees above me and the holidays I get to spend with my family and my fiancé.
*all pictures are owned by author Jinni Workman*
1. The Weather
While this fall here in Maine has been oddly warm, I typically love fall weather. It's the best feeling in the world to wake up, get ready to go and throw on a sweater or a hoodie. Sweatshirts and hoodies are comforting to me. Their warmth is just enough to keep me a neutral temperature on some of the brisk fall days without needing to break out a thick L.L. Bean winter coat. This fall so far, though, I have worn a hoodie outside in the morning and by the end of the workday have found myself stripped down to just a tee shirt as the air has warmed up to the 60s!
2. The Colorful Leaves
Leaving in Maine and getting to experience the beautiful foliage has always been a treat to me. Everywhere I see out-of-staters flock to the state to drive on the backroads and witness the leaves themselves. Everywhere I look I can see a brilliant red tree standing out against the skyline. Every morning I have to wipe my car off as leaves have taken over the hood or my windshield.
3. The Crunchy Leaves
After the foliage has gone by and the leaves begin to hit the ground I search relentlessly for the crunchy leaves. Crunching the leaves is a thing that I have done for my entire life. The sound is strangely soothing to me and sometimes taking your stress or anger out on a dead leaf can be relaxing.
I LOVE Halloween. It has always been my absolute favorite holiday. I love being able to dress up for a day and pretend to be something or someone else. I love to see what other people have done as well. I am not exactly a creative person, so I enjoy watching what other people have been able to create from makeup. My old roommate and one of my closest friends used to take advantage of me letting her try out makeup looks on me. She would create so many new looks for me. Last year I managed to turn myself into a (not that great) cat. Also, I just really love candy. My fiancé and I are unsure if we will get any trick or treaters at our apartment, but you better believe we still plan on buying candy. And if worse comes to worse we will eat it ourselves!
5. My Birthday
Another reason Halloween has always been my favorite holiday is that my birthday happens to be the next day. When I was a child the idea that one day I could dress up, go out in a costume and eat candy and that the next day I could open presents and eat cake was astonishing to me. I remember having friends be jealous of the timing of my birthday. It was also great because when I was a kid I could have Halloween-themed birthday parties! My parents would send out invitations asking people to bring their children dressed in costume and we would have costume contests, Halloween treats and a piñata!
Thanksgiving never used to be one of my favorite holidays, but as I‘ve grown older I’ve learned to appreciate the time I get to spend with my family. Over the years our Thanksgiving celebration has grown smaller as family conflicts occur, but I don’t mind too much. My grandmother still cooks an enormous amount of food which means more leftovers for me to bring home. Currently my fiancé and I still split up for the holiday. I am curious to see what happens in the future when we have children. Perhaps it is in our future to host Thanksgiving ourselves!
7. Apple Orchards
Admittedly, I can no longer actually eat apples without them making me nauseous and it has truly devastated me this time of year. However, that hasn’t stopped me from drinking apple cider and eating caramel apples like there’s no tomorrow. There’s just something about a cup of hot cider on a cold fall day. Apple orchards are my favorite because they always have so many fun activities that you can participate in. A few weeks ago, my fiancé, my family and I went to Wallingford’s Fruit House in Auburn, Maine. They had a corn maze (which was easy btw), they had pumpkins, they had goats for me to feed and, of course, they had silly things we could put our faces in to take pictures with. Wallingford’s also has a haunted walk which we are checking out this upcoming weekend!
I love flannel everything. Flannel shirts. Flannel sheets. Flannel converse (yes, these do exist!). Also, my fiancé looks really nice in a flannel shirt and I appreciate the brisk weather forcing him to wear them more often. I can’t help myself. :’)
9. Going on Walks
Fall is the perfect time of year to go for walks on the various trails around where I live. In the summer, it’s honestly too hot to be able to enjoy myself when taking a stroll. I end up sweating and it really turns me off from being outside. However, in the fall, the trails are covered in a small layer of leaves and there is usually a cool breeze blowing around to keep me cool.
As much as I complain about being a graduate student I do really enjoy being able to learn new things each week. I hate doing homework, but I love to learn. This semester I am taking three classes and completing an internship. My classes are on social welfare policy, social welfare practice and then a field seminar where I discuss how my internship is going. Being able to get back to school also means I get to interact with other people who work in the field I do. I am able to bounce ideas and complaints around with them and also hear how they are doing in the job field.
Yes. You saw it here. Football. I never used to like football even remotely until I met my fiancé. He is a big Patriots fan and in the two and half years we have been together I have also become a fan of the team. Each week I find myself watching more and more of the game and focusing less and less on whatever else I planned to do while he watched it. I have a jersey for my favorite player, Danny Amendola, and I find myself getting excited when he catches a ball or when he makes a touchdown. I’ve learned a lot about the sport since I met my other half and I like being able to understand the game.