For crying out loud, it’s February!

This time of year, I should still be wearing a winter coat to walk our big dog Rodney. Maybe even some gloves to keep my fingers toasty, topped off with a knit cap – or as we call them here in West Virginia, a toboggan.

Not today.

Shortly after I got home from work, I changed into some clothes more suitable for the weather. Here’s what I wore:

  • a decrepit pair of tennis shoes that I’ve had for years. They used to be a nice, bright white.
  • the black socks I wore to work (I know, I should have stripped them off because … tennis shoes. I was too lazy).
  • an olive-colored pair of shorts.
  •  a sky blue button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled up (I’ve been wearing it since I left for work this morning. I starched it myself yesterday evening.)

And

  • My dark blue Washington Nationals baseball cap.

My phone says it’s 66 degrees outside.

The skies today are as blue as my shirt and the sun is bright. But it’s near the end of February. There should at least still be a chill in the air.

If the weather remains this way, I might have to break out my blue Crocs to wear with my black socks.

Don’t tell my wife. She’d just be embarrassed.

For crying out loud, it’s February!

This week’s newspaper column – Autumn, Coffee and … pumpkin spice

Note: If this seems familiar, it is. I jazzed up last week’s post for the newspaper this weekend.

Autumn is finally in the air.

The crisp mornings mean I can actually sit outside with a hot mug of coffee and watch our neighborhood come to life instead of retreating to the air-conditioned comfort of my home.

Simply put, coffee is much more satisfying when it’s cooler outside.

Fall is my favorite season. The coffee is better, the leaves put on a colorful show, football is back and baseball’s World Series is not far off.

I should be dancing a jig, but autumn arrived last week with little fanfare at my house. My wife didn’t mention it before leaving for work. Neither did our daughter as she got ready for school.

As for me, I didn’t remember the official change of seasons until I returned home from the morning rush to Facebook posts welcoming autumn as a long lost friend. There was even one of those fall-themed “listicles” that are so ubiquitous on the internet. This one promised to answer five questions about the autumnal equinox.

I clicked on it.

Among other things, the post explained why days don’t get noticeably shorter until now, even though we’ve been losing daylight since the summer solstice.

It was interesting.

And scientific.

But the answers weren’t necessarily what I was looking for. All I really wanted to know is when I could trade my cargo shorts and Crocs for jeans and boots.

Turns out, I didn’t have to wait long.

A few days after the official start of autumn, temperatures cooled, and the rain this week seems to have sealed the deal.

Coffee is much better now. And the seasonal clothes switch has begun.

All things remaining equal, my wife and daughter no longer have to live with the threat of being seen with me in public wearing my cargos and Crocs getup. At least, not until next summer.

It’s just as well. I’m tired of them, too. I’m ready for flannel shirts and boots, although I might be willing to continue offending the fashion police and tolerate hot, humid weather for a while longer if it meant one thing – staving off the pumpkin spice juggernaut.

I’m not necessarily opposed to pumpkin spice. After all, I’ve been known to enjoy an extra slice or two of pumpkin pie. However, there is a reason why I don’t live at the beach. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

That hasn’t stopped grocery stores from stocking everything from pumpkin spice cookie, muffin, bread and cupcake mixes to pumpkin spice cheesecakes, pies and bagels.. A search of the internet turns up pumpkin spice potato chips, hummus, ice cream, cream cheese and yogurt.

And then there’s the pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin spice beer.

The sign at my grocery store says “Try Them All!”

I probably won’t. Nor will I try pumpkin spice pasta sauce.

Some things are just not suitable for any season.

This week’s newspaper column – Autumn, Coffee and … pumpkin spice

They’re all here – Cargos, Crocs and Pumpkin Spice

Fall has arrived.

It’s my favorite time of year, but the season breezed in Wednesday morning with little fanfare at my house.

My wife didn’t mention it before leaving for work. Neither did our daughter as she got ready for school.

As for me, I didn’t remember the change of seasons until I returned home from the morning rush and noticed a couple of Facebook posts welcoming autumn as a long lost friend. There was even one of those fall-themed “listicles” that are so ubiquitous on the internet. This one promised to answer five questions about the autumnal equinox.

I clicked on it.

Among other things, the post explained why days wait to get noticeably shorter in September, even though we’ve been losing daylight since the summer solstice.

It was interesting.

And scientific.

But the answers weren’t necessarily what I was looking for. All I really wanted to know is when I could trade my dorky cargo shorts and crocs for jeans and boots.

The seasons may have changed, but the days are still a bit too warm. The wardrobe switch has yet to happen.

It’s frustrating. No one wants temperatures to cool off more than me, except maybe my wife and daughter. They view cargos and crocs as fashion abominations.

But I would happily continue offending their sensibilities if it meant one thing – holding off the pumpkin spice juggernaut.

Grocery stores are already filled with everything from pumpkin spice cookie, muffin, bread and cupcake mixes to pumpkin spice cheesecakes, pies and bagels. A quick search of the internet turns up pumpkin spice potato chips, hummus, ice cream, cream cheese, breakfast cereal and yogurt.

I haven’t even mentioned pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin spice beer. And my grocery store actually stocks pumpkin spice pasta sauce.

A sign there urges shoppers to “Try Them All!”

Can that really be a good idea?

In any case, before I even consider going all in on pumpkin spice, I don’t think it’s too much to ask to at least have the chance to put up my cargos and crocs for the season.

They’re all here – Cargos, Crocs and Pumpkin Spice

I rediscovered my Crocs and now my daughter can’t unsee them

Found these long-lost babies in the bottom of the closet yesterday.

My teenage daughter gave me the side-eye when she saw me sporting them.

Then she asked, “Whyyyyyyyyyyyy”?

I told her comfortable shoes are a must for a man with as busy a nap schedule as mine.

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I rediscovered my Crocs and now my daughter can’t unsee them