Autumn brings a sense of comfort and warmth, even as the weather cools. We eagerly don our warm sweaters, cashmere perhaps, and find solace beneath the soft wool fibers. We've tired of the sun's unrelenting rays and welcome this relief. We are happy to trade our iced teas and lemonades for warm cups of cider, tea, coffee and should we fancy, mulled wine. Our summer clothes have been packed away for another day. While we bid fond farewells to our madras, seersucker, and colorful, vibrant Lilly sundresses, we eagerly pull out our crew necks and cardigans, jeans and corduroys. My Jack Rogers have been been replaced by ballet flats, Revas and cute kitten heel pumps. With autumn we have a new spring in our step. We walk lighter, freer and with  renewed enthusiasm as we are no longer bogged down by the heat and humidity. The window can be left open at night. The down comforters can be pulled over us. There's a refreshing, invigorating chill in the air yet, paradoxically it allows for the best of sleep. We pull out the piles of warm blankets. The days grow shorter allowing us to slow down a bit... to slip into something a little more comfortable a little earlier.

For those of us with children, sports will occupy much of our time as we chaperone our children to practices and game. We'll watch in our cars and SUVs, perhaps wrapped in a warm, wool tartan (family) blanket. Mine is the Gordon plaid. I'll have brought a book with me but I won't read. I will watch or chat with friends. Sometimes I won't stay the entire practice as I rush home to supervise homework and get dinner on the table. I'll pour myself a heartier glass of wine. Much like my wardrobe has changed for the season, my wine will too. I'll open a Cabernet, perhaps. Or maybe a Malbec. Something warm and hearty will be simmering on the stove-top, a hearty soup or stew with a good crusty baguette. After the athlete comes home we'll have dinner. And while the children continue on with my homework I will sneak away for a nice long soak. With a newly refilled glass and a magazine or book of choice. Then I'll put on my favorite flannel pajamas and I will feel warm and comforted and happy. At peace. The sun will no longer be up. Darkness will have fallen and the moon will cast shadows through the branches and leaves of the trees in the yard. The animals too are settling for the night. It is not late out, yet the missing rays of the sun gives us permission to relax and unwind. Something we all need.

Soon our fireplaces will be filled with logs and crackling fires. The trees will disrobe of their summer attire and wear the bright oranges, reds and golds of autumn that are so spectacular here in New England. We'll get in our cars and drive for miles to see this fabulous foliage fashion show. Often we'll stop off at a quaint road-side stand and pick up a bushel of Macintosh apples. And maybe some cider for the kids. If you can you'll go apple or pumpkin picking. You'll pick your weight in these orange and red pieces of fruit and you will pay a fortune for it. But you'll have created memories to be carried for a lifetime -- a truly priceless gift. There will be photographs of children taken next to giant pumpkins, on tractors, with scarecrows. There will be smiles on faces. Little voices might beg and plead for a cider donut while you're out. At the end of the day you will arrive home exhausted and happy.

As we travel further into autumn we'll have to turn on the heat. You'll smell the first heat of the season as it wafts from the furnace through the vents and slowly, gently starts to warm your home. Little feet will run over to the vents on the floor to seek the warmth. We can't and we won't complain about our perfect summer, but we welcome these days where we can be indoors without feeling guilty! We have excuses to bake wonderful treats like pumpkin bread and apple pie that fill our homes with the most wonderful fragrances of the season.

And the children. The children eagerly check the mailbox for all the Halloween catalogues, arguing over whom gets to look at what first, flagging every page in sight. Halloween is a most wondrous time of the year. A day of candy. Candy! Who doesn't love candy?! My children start plotting for this day long before summer has ended.

This is truly my favorite time of the year. I plan on enjoying and savoring every second of it. I'll start with my first Pumpkin Spiced Latte of the season a little later today!