The gratitude monologues – sweater weather


Natalie Mix

A picture that my neighbor took, which is the epitome of what my perfect fall entails.

September 22nd was the first day of fall.

Coincidentally, it was the first day of the year when the air felt noticeably cooler, and there was an extra nip in the morning.

That night, I slept with my windows open; I had my fan on high; I was wearing my Nike sweatpants and oversized crewneck sweatshirt; I added my fuzzy Christmas blanket to my bedding.

On September 22nd, I welcomed autumn home with open arms, holding on tightly because her stay is hardly two months long. I breathed in her warm, vanilla and cinnamon aroma that swirls around in my nose, my stomach, my hands, my feet. 

I have welcomed home the air that burns my nose as I inhale. It’s the type of air that makes mini steam clouds out of my breath in the mornings. It’s the type of air that I happily let into my bedroom each night as the rest of my family cranks up the heat.

I am continuously welcoming home pumpkin spice: a flavor I have grown strangely fond of over the years. I have learned to love the Trader Joe’s bag filled with fall goodies and morning Starbucks trips for pumpkin chais. I fawn over pumpkin-spiced donuts from a pumpkin patch thirty minutes away, and I have discovered a delicious pumpkin cookie recipe with cream cheese frosting. 

Candles burn unforgivably in my bedroom as the smoke slowly rises, and the warm scent fills the space between my four walls and slips through the crack under my door. The window next to my bed overlooks the red and orange oak and maple trees that create a canopy over my front yard. A bed of leaves blankets the grass and driveway, leaving a sea of yellow, auburn, and scarlet around my house.

I live vicariously through the months of fall, through the months of windy days, pumpkin spice, and sweater weather.

I am exuberantly welcoming home sweater weather. It’s the temperature where I need the security of a blanket-like shirt snug around me at all times. It’s the temperature where the breeze slipping through the loose knits of my sleeves makes me shiver, but it’s more comforting than anything. It’s the temperature where I only need a coat in the early morning–before the sun comes up–when I take my dog out. It’s the temperature where I have to start warming up my car before leaving for school, but only in extreme conditions.

This is the time of year when I concoct a hilarious costume to wear on Halloween. It’s when my family and I curl up by the fireplace we use twice a year and watch It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! while eating candy. Afterward, when there seems to be nothing else on TV, we switch to Halloween Wars on Food Network, which leads to us getting sucked into the drama of the baking world.

This is the time of year when I convert my cozy bedroom into an icebox except for my bed, which I layer with blankets and wear my warmest pajamas. My mom always complains about the cold, though I proudly embrace it. I get excited, as I begin to notice the first subtle, yet abrupt transition to cold weather. My anticipation grows each day as we get closer to Thanksgiving; the parade, the Rockettes, turkey, and Black Friday are constantly lingering in the back of my mind, like a distant memory that has yet to happen. 

Most of my favorite moments in life occurred during the two-month span of fall. I grew up jumping from leaf pile to leaf pile, dressing up as a witch, and then as a bottle of Coke. I will continue to gaze at the mesmerizing leaf colors, run towards the deceiving clear sky, and sleep with the windows open. 

I live vicariously through the months of fall, through the months of windy days, pumpkin spice, and sweater weather. I live vicariously through the moments in time that make me feel most alive.