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Seriously, was this not the hottest summer ever? (It was. Ever.)

Thankfully, fall is officially here and after a coupla more weeks of ups-and-downs (rather like my love life right now), the temperature should “fall” pleasantly back down to what it should be: Nice and frigid. (Actually, that’s much more like my love life.)

With fall here, everyone will be doing what they can to, er, prepare for winter. That’s if they’re not already planning for what it is they’ll be doing for Spring Break. Or this upcoming summer, which’ll be here before you know it, along with your 65th birthday and the birth of your grandchildren. Then you’re alone in your bed, preparing for whatever comes after this little stop-off in the ongoing eternity that consumes us all.

Whoops. Sorry about that digression (read parentheticals above). Anyway, fall is here. No doubt about it, and here’s five ways we know:

1 Firework leaves

Hailing from Southern California (where there is no hail), I’m not used to seasons. I’m used to warm and then way-too-warm. But here in Colorado, y’all quaint-adorable folkles have weather that changes along with the months. It’s a little freaky and goes against my conservative Christian upbringing, but I’ll still let it be. For now. Point of story? I can’t wait until the leaves start to change into the red, orange and yellow that reminds me so delightfully of the nurturing, glowing warmth of the fires of hell.

2 Girls wearing clothes again

One thing we’ll all miss about the end of the summer is sartorial humility. Simply put, no longer will we see young nymphets skipping tra-la-la down the avenue wearing nothing but tissue paper and neon-rimmed Wayfarers. Nope. Now — along with those ’80s shades — girls are actually taking to putting on pants, jackets, sweaters and even occasionally an adorable little snowcap. Or hoods. Oh, when they wear hoods, it’s so cute. You just wanna pick ’em up and squeeze the breath outta them, and… Hmm, maybe fall isn’t so bad after all.

3 Gelato into pea soup

Now that it’s getting chillier, people need to not only cover up. That’s right: Now they need to be warm inside, and that means no more gelato etc. Hence why you’ll find that places like Two Spoons on Pearl Street are shifting from ice cream to creamy soup. Mmmm, mmm. Goes down so warm and gooey; it’s great. And, this time, no double entendre intended (or necessary). There was this tilapia corn chowder at Alfalfa’s the other day, and now I can’t stop thinking about it. Along with some other things, but that’s really none of your business.

4 Fatty fat fat

Speaking of thick, creamy soup, one of the tough things about the oncoming colder weather is that everyone tends to stay inside a lot more often. Yes, as much as we might all have complained nonstop (that couldn’t have been just me) about the balmy warmth that attacked us mercilessly the last two months, now it’ll be all about chapped lips and frozen fingers. So, we stay inside. Scared and lonely. And what do we do when we stay inside? Eat. And watch French movies from the 1940s. Right? Right. This means the “Freshman 15” suddenly becomes the “Everyone 80.” But, that’s OK. At least we’re not alone in that regard.

5 Skis not skies

Of course, one way that we can keep the winter weight off is by going skiing. Personally, I’ve never gotten into that thing before, but as long as everyone else is doing it, it must be good. The majority rules, after all, and it’s always best to give into what everyone tells you is right and true. The skies might be growing cloudy and gray, but as long as the skis stay just as right and true, it’ll be nothing but sunny days ahead. Figuratively, that is.

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