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I confess last Thursday, 16 days ahead of schedule, with a warm, flannel-wrapped hug, I welcomed autumn. I tried so hard to fight its early arrival, but the pressure mounted, and I gave in.

I fell to fall.

I can only hope summer forgives me.

It all started at the South Abington Township Starbucks with a pumpkin spice latte. Or did the jug of apple cider from Gerrity’s come first? It’s all a blur.

Either way, from there, it grew like leaves piling under a huge maple tree.

Another pumpkin spice latte and two plaid flannel shirts later, here I sit on an early September Sunday afternoon, wrapped in my favorite fleece blanket. And, I’m finishing a mug of hot chocolate and slice of apple pie as I type my column. The prematurity of it all is enough to make my head hang in shame.

But it gets worse.

I listened to Christmas music.

Before Thanksgiving.

In my defense, the radio/CD player in my car is broken again and I only have a few albums downloaded on my smartphone. When I got tired of listening to the same songs on repeat, I resorted to playing For King & Country’s “Christmas: Live From Phoenix” – a great album, but one I would normally reserve for the months of November and December.

Now that I’ve surrendered to the season, it’s too late to go back.

It’s not that I don’t love autumn – I do. But as I wrote two weeks ago, I prefer to enjoy each season while it’s here. And the first official day of fall isn’t until Sept. 22.

But like it or not, it arrived early, and I chose to embrace it. And here in the Abingtons, there is plenty to embrace about the season.

The following are my top four reasons to love fall in the Abingtons:

1. Craft/vendor fairs

As a crafter myself, I love to do my holiday shopping (for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas) at local craft fairs and artisan markets. The calm and cozy atmosphere of these events is a stark contrast to the commercialism and chaos found in most malls and big-box retail stores. It’s like a breath of fresh, crisp, autumn air.

Just a few examples of annual fairs of this sort in the area are the Dorothy Boccella Holiday Marketplace at the Abington Community Library, the Artisans’ Marketplace at the Waverly Community House and the Dalton Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary’s craft fair.

2. Apple cider donuts

Apple cider donuts from Miller’s Orchards Farm Market are to fall as ice cream from Manning Farm Dairy is to summer.

Need I say more?

3. Family activities

Our area has many seasonal family activities such as the Abington Business and Professional Association’s Fall Fun in the Abingtons, “trunk-or-treat” events at local churches and the South Abington Lions Club’s Halloween party for children.

4. The scenery

As many readers likely do, I know people who travel to Northeast Pennsylvania just to view the beautiful fall colors that grace our region. We get to enjoy it all season long, because we live here.

Plus, the Abington area is full of parks like the Lackawanna State Park, South Abington Park and Hillside Park which, in their unspoiled beauty, bring out the best of autumn.

I must confess to the hypocrisy of this column, after reminding readers just two weeks ago that “summer isn’t technically over until the first day of fall.”

“Can we hold off on the pumpkin spice for a few more weeks and enjoy our summer playlist a little while longer?” I requested.

I know. And I confess, but I don’t care.

I’ll take the fall.

Contact the writer:

 

ebaumeister@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9100 x3492