It’s Fall, Y’all, but it’s Different for a Dude


It’s fall, y’all.

I see my blogging sisteren (the female answer to brethren) writing about fall. Pumpkin latte recipes. (Well, anything involving pumpkin. And spice). Knitting projects. Photos of kids frolicking in leaves.

Cute boots and sweaters.

Ladies-only blog hops, pumpkin patches, autumnal decorations. Posts lamenting the end of summer. Poetry. Did I mention recipes? Mom and craft and DYI bloggers blog and craft and share all this stuff.

Then they say things like “love this!”, and pin it.

Well, I might love it, but I don’t pin.

I too look forward to my autumn scarves, plum pullovers, and pumpkin spice cider. I love drives on the Blue Ridge Parkway on an NFL Sunday afternoon, picnic in tow, marathon Air Supply playlists.

Is that plum? Or mulberry?

That action is followed by marathon shopping at Garden Ridge, choosing whimsical scarecrow centerpieces and fun orange and yellow napkins.

Endless scarecrows and napkins. Actually, I don’t know plum from mulberry, save my pumpkin for pancakes and pie, and would be miserable, even in the beauty of the Carolina mountains, so far from my NFL team (Denver Broncos).

(Bye-weeks are made by Jesus for paying the piper in Garden Ridge. Plan ahead.)

Fall to me is the changing leaves in Carolina, especially those along the Blue Ridge Parkway. If that’s too crowded for you, just the view from the big windows in front of the Ingle’s grocery store off Interstate 26.

(If I was a bag boy there, I’d smash many loaves of bread under canned goods because of the distracting view.)

It could be changing leaves of the forest behind the visitors’ bench at Armfield Athletic Center in Greensboro, Guilford College’s football home. It’ll divert your eyes like as a sorority-house roadside charity carwash, and force you to miss a play or two on the field.

Easily. It’s God, showing off.

Stolen shirts and reddened cheeks

It could also be the changing leaves on my favorite disc golf courses. They force me to move from yellow and orange and red discs to bright blue or get lost on the forest floor. It’s Elise stealing my UnderArmour again.

She wears it on the soccer pitch beneath her lime-green jersey, adjusting to the fast play of grounds covered with post-summer grass, barren and brown.

That Marie’s cheeks will turn red, but her play won’t decline. That Grace will ask to squirm out of her undershirt and brave the cooler air. It’s a morning run, topped with fresh chilled air instead of humid leftovers of yesterday, devoid of bugs.

My run is framed on one side by the rising sun, on the other, the setting moon. For a moment both fight for the same sky, one on each of my shoulders.

It’s fall birthdays for the oldest two, days as apt to bring snow as 75-degree sunshine. It’s tournaments and runny noses in practice and the aroma of Carolina grills that won’t ever go cold.

Maybe it’s baseball that means something, that my Colorado Rockies even played once, in 2008. It’s too-late-for-school-kids Fox broadcasts of games, each pitch a story, each camera fixed on a fan who dies a thousand deaths with every runner stranded.

dad mugIt’s a trip with my dad to Redfeather, so high in the Rockies you can’t even get a radio station, to harvest firewood for the winter. I hated carrying logs.

It’s my grandma’s pumpkin empanadas. It’s field trips with my girls, picnics to draft a birth plan, park visits to watch Elise feed the ducks. It’s Marie, age 6, in a rose garden, dressed in pink and wearing a tiara. It’s Grace, mapping streets with sidewalk chalk and navigating them on her scooter.

So good, and yet so bad (for the environment)

Or maybe it’s just the barbecue talking.

North Carolina barbecue. Vinegar-based, civic-organization cooked overnight, lumped with slaw on a plain white hamburger bun (sorry, Mrs. Obama), served in Styrofoam (sorry Greenpeace).

Wafting on the still-warm Carolina air, distracting me on the sideline, prompting my players to say, “hey coach … smell that cookin’?

There are no pumpkin lattes, no fall colors in my wardrobe. No seasonal sweaters odes to the summer over too fast. You’ll find crisp morning air, matches played in long-sleeves (oftentimes sneakily procured) on hardened grounds still warmed by the Carolina sun.

You’ll find my teams, fighting for every ball, attacking the postgame snacks relentlessly.

You’ll find a coach in search of the nearest ‘cueAnd you’ll find me reading all about the pumpkin patches and pumpkin desserts and DYI pumpkin Halloween costumes for the way-too-cute toddler, because I love that part of fall, too – reading those blogs.

Just don’t expect me to pin it. I’m a dude, after all.

autumn quote.jpg

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45 Replies to “It’s Fall, Y’all, but it’s Different for a Dude”

  1. Fall as a dude sounds pretty great. You know where I stand on pumpkin. Ugh. But the change of colors, running in the morning & not sweating a slow death from the heat & humidity, and college football games from noon til midnight. Just frickin’ awesome! But I’ll also watch my girls jump into the biggest pile of leaves and it will be equally awesome.

    1. It is, and I didn’t even mention the Woodchuck Ale.

      Poor pumpkin – it’s polarizing, isn’t it? And football – you could conceivably watch games at noon, 3, 6, 9, and midnight on Saturday, then 1, 4:30 and 8:30 Saturday, and 8:30 Sunday.

      God.Bless.America.

      Every time I buy a a picture frame, there’s a 64 percent chance there’s a stock photo of white kids jumping in it. And a 37 percent chance that photo will also feature a large brown and white dog.

  2. Lovely, and reminiscent for this Carolina girl. I could feel the cooler air, hear the rustling leaves and smell the BBQ! A great start to my day! Thank you!

    1. You can take the girl out of Carolina, but you can’t take the Carolina out of the girl. October, I’m pretty sure Carolina is closer in proximity to heaven than any other time of year – or place on earth. I only wish October could have more than 31 days.

      Thanks for checking in!

      1. HaHa – I did not know that about Kansas! Good thing that my team is the Texas Longhorns!!! I support the Kansas teams until they play TX since I live here (KS).

      2. It’s nuts. If I was commissioner, I’d restrict a team to no more helmet designs than they had wins the season before.

        That would mean if you go winless, you’d have to play without a helmet the next year.

        You’d even root for North Texas against the Jayhawks?

  3. I love your description of fall from the man point of view! I laughed at the start of the post though as my last blog post was about changing the oil in my car … with my stepdaughter as a trusty sidekick. 😉 Of course, I won’t hesitate to pin a good pumpkin cheesecake dip either. 😀

    1. Glad to shed some fading light on the subject. Now, that’s a good autumn post. I could learn a thing or three about oil changes.

      If by pinning you mean holding the bowl down with both hands as I devour, then yes, I’ll pin it too.

  4. I love the colors of fall, but mostly fall for me is about sports. I try to fit the other photos in…but inevitably, look back through my fall photos, and they’re 90% soccer with a little cross country mixed in. 10% apple picking, pumpkin patch, leaf piles. But I try to get those every year!

    1. Fall sports are the best, and I loved covering games at Guilford College, with the leaves changing in the forest behind the field. Photos of our kids playing are right up there with the changing leaves.

  5. Dudes don’t pin, I get it. Fall to me is soccer, field hockey, my birthday, jeans again (yay!) and yes, pumpkin flavored whatever. And football. I’ll admit it’s a latecomer to my list of favorites, but it now has a permanent spot.

    1. It’s funny, because now, I do. Jeans are an underrated perk of fall – they are as welcome as shorts in the spring. Especially in fall, even those who don’t love football can feel football in the air.

      She’s a girl we just can’t quit, no matter how many times she breaks our hearts!

  6. Mine is about leaves. I can’t avoid it. They’re everywhere. In all the brightly changing glory turning every view into a golden, fiery-red landscape. Falling softly in a wind blown dance upon the still green but frost-tipped blades of green.
    And then…
    ….we rake.
    and rake. then some more!
    Oh sure, there will be jumping in piles too. While yes, I watch with Pumpkin spice brew warming my hands.
    I have 3 seasons worth of clothing crammed in my front hall closet; because in Canada, Fall means – 3 Seasons in One Day!! ye-haw!
    None of this pin-worthy.
    I’d rather watch the geese fly south.
    Since they’re gonna wake me up at Oh-God-Oclock anyway.

    1. Leaves are a problem for me only on the disc golf course. My trees at home aren’t big enough to become big problems. I leave that to people who’ve been in their houses longer and have massive oak trees in the yard.

      Wait, are those geese called Canada Geese up there? I wonder if you have such a thing as America Geese.

  7. I think I like fall as a dude better. I don’t wear earth tones. The girl in me will tell you that it’s because my complexion calls for jewel tones (brights) and pure white. Really it’s because I’m allergic to khaki pants.
    The Blue Ridge Parkway sounds like my kind of place. Up here, we get all of the leaf peepers because fall in New England is a spectacle – real showing off up here. However, I really never met an Autumn I didn’t like, in many other places.

    1. Fall as a dude rocks. If I wear earth tones, it’s by accident. I don’t know if dudes do jewel tones. Do they?

      Autumn doesn’t have to be from the parkway or on peak weekend to be gorgeous, does it? Give me a window with a tree. Better yet, give me a disc golf course full of them and I’ll take it all in.

  8. Where we live Eli the seasons go like this, hot wet summers which taper off to, bloody hell it’s a cold morning, nice days for a couple of months to oh my gawd its bloody hot again. I miss the change of seasons. Great post BTW, hmm pumpkins.

      1. Yes but in Queensland it’s usually left behind pretty darn quick. We’ve had some odd weather patterns lately so even down south where spring comes in gently it has warmed up.

  9. I like the sound of that BBQ – although I do usually do the whole wheat roll, even though it is not traditional. I have never had a pumpkin spice latté – I like pumpkin baked goods but lattés have never really appealed to me. So I guess I don’t embrace fall in the popular way, either.

  10. 1) Disc Golf? We were meant to be BEST FRIENDS Eli. LOVE Disc Golf. I’m not that good.. but it is SO much fun. We do it, whenever we can.

    2) PUMPKIN EMPANADAS… OVER NIGHT MAIL ME ONE…. PLEASE?!

    1. Disc golf is for the cool kids. I am going to play tomorrow, dangit. It’s been too long. I’m not great at it, but I get lucky sometimes.

      If I sent you one, it’d have a bite taken out of it. Or 3. They’re.awesome.

  11. I kinda used to be a dude about Fall. But blogging seems to have turned me into a pumpkin loving gal. Still, I love your guy’s perspective on Fall love.

  12. Fall is my favorite season—we finally get out of the sweltering heat here in south Florida. Yes, I am guilty of indulging in EVERYTHING pumpkin but honestly, one of my favorite things about cooler weather is lighting up the fire pit in our backyard. I will also admit that even though I am not a big football fan, I DO get a kick out of making a big pot of chili while my guys are rallied around the TV to watch a game. This was a great post, Eli…..and oh yes, some guys DO “pin” their recipes, hahaha!

    1. Temperatures probably dip down into the mid 80s for you guys now, don’t they? I knew a girl in Tallahassee who wore a parka when it got down in the 70s. Brr.

      Do you serve cinnamon rolls and chili together? Because that’s what God eats when the Saints are on.

      I’m afraid if I pin something – one thing – next thing you know I’ll be getting manis and pedis and wearing pink bedazzled Tony Romo jerseys.

  13. Thank you so much for linking this up to the Spin Cycle! It’s just the kind of Spin I’ve been looking for! I just love that vinegary Carolina barbeque. That’s how I make my pulled pork! Happy Fall!

  14. We live in Laramie, just north of Red Feather. Fall is trips after fire wood, snow likely by Halloween, sadly not so much the barbecue. But the aspens in the mountains…beautiful!

  15. We are spending our weekends and Monday evenings watching soccer, lacrosse and football games. We are retired and can survive without the pumpkin lattes. Great post, Dude!!!!

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