My Birthday and the Autumn Itch

Ok. I can't live this lie anymore. 

Confession time.

I already took out my fall/winter wardrobe. 
Its all hanging up, freshly washed and ready-to-wear, in my albeit-cramped closet. 

The Autumn Itch has hit.

Before you cry, "For shame!", know that I am still exercising heroic restraint and admirable responsibility. 

I do not allow myself to smell anything remotely related to 
Pumpkin Spice,
Cinnamon, Cloves, Harvest, or Apple. 

I am only allowing myself 15 minutes a day to drool over
with it's rich, cozy, images of delight...

 This is just gratuitous. What woman could resist such an image?! ;; "Fall-porn".

I am doing very little baking, nor am I watching any of the Harry Potters. 

I am not even allowing myself to wear my beautiful boots. Yet.

Although I try them on with various outfits a few times a day.

Its going to be intense this year. I can already feel it. 

Its like I'm PMSing for Autumn. Except the pain is now and the joy will be then.
 So not at all like PMS.

I think what brought it on is my birthday. Which was yesterday. I am in my last year of my early 20's. Next year I will turn 25, and then I will have to say I'm in my mid-20's. 

What's that I hear? The sound of readers throwing up in their mouths?

Anyway - there was a point to this, wasn't there? - oh yes! The source of my Fall PMS! PFS.

For our birthday presents to each other (Jason's bday is the 29th of August), 
my husband and I decided to invest in some quality camping gear
and set an official date for a weekend camping trip
for just the two of us.

 Blue Ridge Mountains. (My multi-talented husband took this pic).

The last time we were camping was with my big crazy family
in October of '08
on Mt. Pisgah in the Blue Ridge Mountains
and Jason asked me to go on a fateful walk with him in the cold night air.

And my brothers invited themselves
You see, we had known Jason for about 5 years at that point,
so there was a real comfort and familiarity with him,
and a total cluelessness that he could have any ulterior motive for wanting to spend time with us
(except on the part of my Dad, who had apparently long cherished the hope
that if Jason wasn't called to the priesthood, he'd sweep Kallah off her feet). 

Anyways... so my clueless brothers
were acting like monkeys
(imagine two huge [super cool] teenage boys running around in the dark, howling at the tops of their teenage lungs
trying to see how much they could get away with 
before a ranger appeared)
which enraged my future husband
who unbeknownst to (equally clueless) me was trying to set a romantic tone...

but he found a way to get me alone with him
(under the stars on top of a mountain, no less)
and he held my hand 
and told me he liked me. Like, "like liked" me. 

We both laugh now, because looking back, we each knew in that moment
he didn't just "like" me...
he really was setting the stage for his ultimate marriage proposal
which followed 1 year exactly from that night.

We were both so shy, and yet so overwhelmed with happiness
to find that each of us had held this secret
of how we had so gradually and effortlessly come to feel about the other 
over the years. 

That weekend camping trip is forever indelibly impressed in my mind. 
It was so embarrassing when Jason held my hand for the first time in front of my family.
My brothers were unbearable.

In fact, that first night of being boyfriend and girlfriend,
we were sitting shyly and blissful by the dying campfire
after everyone else had gone to sleep,

when who comes stumbling out of the tent but Malachi, (my now-20 year old brother).
He saw us, took in the fact that we were holding hands,
rubbed his eyes,
and said, "Oh hi guys."...
then he peed in the woods.

Yes, that trip was so awkward and hilarious. 
But also unutterably sweet to look back on. 

And every time the first signs of Fall start to show themselves, I feel like I'm falling in love again
 ... with crunching leaves underfoot,
chilly evenings by the campfire next to the man of my dreams,
wearing his big cozy fleece,
surrounded by all those dear, sweet smells of the mountains in autumn.

I'm sorry, I am aware of how sappy and drippy this is. I am writing this selfishly. Perhaps I should go back to keeping a diary. In addition, you know.

Am I alone in my Pre-Fall-Syndrome? Share your own aches and pains, I beg of you.
I need others to wallow with.

[P.S.: stuff it if you're already experiencing weather below 80, 
a few changing leaves, 
or the need for a sweater.
No one south of you wants to hear it.]

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