Wood smoke and pumpkin drink recipes hint at fall in N. Florida

fire flames by indie art south

Last night as I walked outside with our dog Bear, I welcomed the cool breezes after a brief shower. The temp was in the low 60s here in North Florida, and I detected a hint of wood smoke. Floridians will build a fire the minute the temp gets below 70 degrees. I decided to check my email and saw a promo message from Walmart.

I realized how this sliver of fall made me happy, a reminder of evenings back home in Carolina. As soon as I saw drink recipes in the Walmart email, I knew my daughters would enjoy trying them.

Image: Indie Art South

I also know this won’t last. This morning the temp was near 60, cool enough for me to put on a garment with sleeves instead of the sleeveless clothing I wear most of the year here. I felt so full of fall I ordered some new Halloween decorations. My husband was watching the presidential debate. I am incapable of sitting through these affairs at this point, having witnessed more meaningless debates from both major parties and pop culture moderators than a human should be subjected to in her lifetime.

I did listen to a few minutes, and I did overhear exchanges over income taxes. I find it hilarious that most Americans have no idea what income taxes are because most pay only payroll taxes, not income taxes. At least 44 percent of Americans paid absolutely no income taxes in 2016. I could care less who pays what if close to half of the taxpayers pay nothing. Income taxes, by the way, are a different matter than payroll and entitlement taxes. I think taxing income was one of the greatest outrages ever permitted the federal government by previous generations. There is no equality in taxing incomes simply because some make more than others. #EndOfRant #BackToFall

applesSo while my husband watched the candidates square off and the moderator drown in attempts to manage the candidates, I wandered out back, gazed at the moon partly obscured by clouds, and savored this cool breezy evening.

Now it’s time for apples and harvests, trick or treaters and fall fires, Turkey Day and then the highlight of my holidays, Christmas.

The Walmart recipes look good to me. Maybe I’ll try them. I already put a hint of cinnamon in my coffee every now and then, but only in the cooler months. Summer is a different matter entirely. Best of all, we can open the windows and let fresh air in. I know the heat will return—this is North Florida where during some Christmas celebrations, we’ve had to use the air conditioner. But for a few days, this hint of fall makes me feel positively crispy.

(Kay B. Day/September 30, 2020)

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