Fall brings so many favorite things, including hope

By Brian Knox | Published Saturday, September 19, 2015

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Next Wednesday may not seem to be an important date, but for me, it’s one of my favorite days of the year.

It’s the autumnal equinox, also known as the first day of fall.

Fall is my favorite of the four seasons, and it’s really not even close.

Why do I love fall? Let me count the ways.

Brian Knox

Brian Knox

First, it means those 100-degree days of summer heat are in the rear-view mirror. Already some mornings, you can walk outside and feel a cool breeze rather than the muggy stillness that wraps around you like a warm, wet blanket.

Soon, it will be time to break out the jackets, but not yet time to break out the heavier coats for winter.

It’s the time of year when I met my wife, started dating and eventually planned a November wedding.

By November, many of the trees should exchange their green uniformity for the dazzling display of crimson, gold and orange.

And speaking of orange, who doesn’t like pumpkins? Whether part of a fall display or carved into creative-looking jack-o’-lanterns at Halloween, nothing signals the start of fall like a pumpkin.

Unless it’s the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup pumpkin-shaped candies that appear on store shelves this time of year.

Mmmmm, candy …

As kids, what could be a better holiday (with the exception of Christmas, of course) than Halloween? You get to dress up as anything or anyone you want and get tons of sugary sweets.

As I outgrew costumes and became a teenager, fall meant playing my trombone in the high school band and marching in homecoming parades and football games. For many, the start of fall comes with the opening kickoff of high school football and the familiar sounds of school fight songs.

And don’t forget these two words: college football.

While I enjoy a good football game, it ranks well below baseball in my book. While it might be seen as a summer sport, there is nothing like October baseball.

Ten years ago, I attended my first World Series game when the Chicago White Sox beat the Houston Astros in Game 4 of the 2005 series. Since I was pulling for the White Sox that year, I got to enjoy the sight of the team celebrating on the field up close. And while my White Sox loyalty was only temporary, it was great to see some die-hard fans moved to tears as their team had finally broken their nearly century-long championship drought.

It made me start dreaming of the day when my favorite team, the Texas Rangers, would finally reach the World Series.

And in 2010, they did. I was there in Arlington on another cool late-October evening to watch my team playing in the aptly-named “Fall Classic.” My team pulled out the win that night, and I left happy with memories that will last a lifetime.

Unfortunately, that would be the only game my Rangers would win in that series, falling to a team with those most Halloween of colors, orange and black.

My memories from the next fall are much more bittersweet as my team was famously within one strike (twice) of winning the ultimate prize, only to fall agonizingly short.

So fall arrives again Wednesday, and I’m once again looking forward to the slight chill in the air, the brilliant colors of foliage, pumpkins and sneaking a few pieces of candy from my kids’ trick-or-treat bags.

And if the Rangers can keep up their winning ways and return to the playoffs with momentum on their side this year, it might just turn out to be the greatest fall yet.

Brian Knox is the Messenger’s special projects manager.

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