If you blindfolded me, took me on a trip in a time machine, stopped on some random day, shoved me out my door and said, "Tell me what season it is," why do I think I have a pretty good chance of getting it right? There is something in the air, something in the smell of this place, something that sings fall, not spring, though the technical temperature of the air might be about the same. It seems like every time we walk outside we see a few more leaves that have succumbed to scarlet, a few more geese flying south. Autumn is easing in: at the farmer's market we saw the last of the watermelons and the cucumbers and marveled at the magnificent variety of gourds and pumpkins. Our kitchen is awash in apples. The neighborhood boys have taken to playing two-hand touch football on our front lawn and we're all wearing sweatshirts at breakfast time. Depending on the day, I see these signs alternate between threat and promise. The dull dread of winter still sits in my bones and if the Farmer's Almanac is to be believed, it's going to be a doozy this year. All that grey -- makes my head ache just thinking about it. On the other hand, it is something of a relief to live in a place where the seasons actually change, and not where the temperatures just shuffle a bit from super-duper hot, to a little cooler, to just plain warm (I'm talking about you, Tucson!). And it's impossible to live with children and not think that snow is a wondrous thing, at least some of the time. I'm grateful for Autumn, the grace that lets us slowly get ready for the dreary months rather than just moving from summer to winter in a flash. So we'll walk barefoot while we can and relish the cooler days and be grateful we're not likely to wake up to ice on the windows tomorrow.