People who know me know that I am summer person. I love the beach. I love my boats. I love sitting out on the deck on a warm night. I love having it stay light out until 8:30 p.m. The only thing I don’t love is yard work, but everything else about summer is OK with me.

Every year, from November until May (which is when spring finally gets to northern Vermont), I am in a bad mood. I’m like a bear who forgot to go into hibernation. I stumble around, grumbling under my breath about how cold it is, or how sunrise is so late and sundown so early or how many days it is until summer returns.

For people like me, October is the consolation prize. It is the gift we get in exchange for the long winter to come. Up here in New England, it really is something special.

We get lots of warm and sunny days topped off by clear and cool nights. The trees explode with color. The sky seems deeper—more blue. The gardens are spilling over with fresh vegetables. There is a certain smell to the air, a crispness , that only happens in October.

Baseball season comes to its climax and football season gears up (the only good thing about winter, and even that ends halfway through). The local high school field looks its best, deep green and freshly striped for the homecoming game.

If you’ve never been to New England in the fall, you really should make it a point to do it someday. It is truly like all of the postcards and calendars you’ve seen. Get out of the cities, and you drive through one small town after another, each one more quaint and beautiful than the last. Drive long enough, and you’re sure to come across a town having a fall festival of some kind. Go by an orchard and pick a peck of apples (don’t forget to get some freshly made cider, too). Stop by a roadside stand and get the freshest vegetables you’ll ever eat.

I was born and raised here, and I still find it amazing how beautiful it is for a few weeks every October. Of course, by January, I’ll have forgotten all about these few, precious weeks and will be grumbling my way through another long winter.

Wake me up when baseball season starts again.