Fall In Texas

I’m from Iowa, and there it’s easy to tell fall has arrived. The trees change to lovely shades of yellow, orange and crimson. A crispness lingers in the air all day. It feels like fall. I love that time of year. Wearing jackets, snuggling under a blanket with a good romance on Saturday. Walking on crunching leaves.

Now I live in Texas, and fall is different from what I knew growing up. In Texas, it’s hard to tell autumn has arrived. Halloween has come and gone, and Thanksgiving is around the corner. Despite what the calendar says, this week’s forecast is for record high temperatures. We’re talking hitting ninety degrees. When the leaves change, they turn a shade of brown and fall off the tress. Not exactly the ooh-ahh fall colors I spotted in the Midwest.

Saying It’s been an adjustment for me is like saying Texas and Texas A&M have a little rivalry. Over the years I’ve learned fall is heralded in different ways in Texas. First and foremost, we know it’s fall because of the arrival of football season. Yes, it’s true. Football is almost a religion here in Texas. From high schools on Friday night to TCU, Baylor, Texas Tech, Texas and Texas A&M on Saturday. There’s even have a “Red River Showdown” between Texas and OU at the Texas State Fair.

Which brings me to another huge sign of fall in Texas, the state fair. When people start talking about corny dogs, turkey legs, and fried any and everything, I know autumn has arrived. I hear Big Tex’s voice and see pictures of him everywhere. In 2012 when Big Tex caught on fire, it was huge news. We got updates on the progress to rebuild him, including details on changes in his iconic outfit.

But I’ve learned to adjust. I decorate the yard and house for fall, Halloween, and then Thanksgiving. I admit a couple times I had a fire and then turned on the air conditioner because the house got so warm. I bake items that remind me of fall. One of my family’s favorite is pumpkin bread.

Pumpkin Bread

3 1/3 C flour
3 C sugar
4 eggs
1C oil
2/3 C water
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 can pumpkin
½ black walnut flavoring
Sift dry ingredients into a bowl. Make a “well” in the center. Add eggs, water, oil and black walnut flavoring in well. Mix. Add canned pumpkin. Mix. Place in greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Now tell me about your favorite fall tradition and be entered in the drawing to win the pumpkin and Home On The Ranch: Colorado.

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Julie Benson has written five novels for Harlequin American, and her Wishing, Texas series is available from Tule Publishing. Now that her three sons have left the nest in Dallas, when she isn't writing, Julie spends her time working on home improvement projects, rescuing dogs, and visiting Texas wineries with her husband. Visit her at www.juliebenson.net.

21 thoughts on “Fall In Texas”

  1. My favorite fall tradition is when we drive around looking at all the beautiful trees that have changed colors. I was born and raised in Southern California so to see trees change color was never something I experienced until I moved to Northeast Indiana.

    I also love anything Pumpkin. Lattes, bread, cookies…anything as long as Pumpkin proceeds the name.

    Cindy W.

  2. Fellow Texan here. I did live in Kentucky and Tennessee at times in my life so I did get to enjoy fall color change at a time in my life. That’s the only part I don’t like about fall in Texas it just turns blah outside. We can barely even notice a change in temperatures outside most years and the next week with the record highs is going to be terrible. One of my favorite fall things is Dallas Cowboy’s football, which you forgot! (Shame on you!) I have MS and hate Texas summers since having been diagnosed, I’m very heat intollerate. Fall has always been my favorite season but I may need to change that to winter now. I love to bake, make soups and cook hearty meals which I do a whole lot more in fall. Then there is fall festivals and hopefully we at least get cool evenings in Texas for a change! I need to read one of your books in always looking for a new author to add to my go to authors list.

    • Stephanie, I can’t believe I mentioned high school and college football, but forgot the cowboys! It’s funny you mentioned the heat intolerance. The older I get, the more the heat affects me, and I don’t even have MS which must complicate the issue even further. Take care, and thanks for stopping by today!

  3. Thanks for sharing your recipe and this falls into one of my favorite fall activities. I love to warm up the kitchen by baking. The first weekend that I can serve chili and pumpkin pie it fwels like Fall has arrived! And going for a drive to look at the changing leaf colors is also a tradition that we enjoy. A priceless time together for just the cost of our gasoline.

  4. I was in Texas for a week, once. I’ve never felt heat liked that in my life. lol. But I loved how friendly and welcome everyone was. Coming from New Jersey that was so refreshing. Thanks for the recipe. I love the changing colours of the leaves, the smells of Fall from the baking. But my favorite is the cooler temps and making homemade soups and stews.
    Carol Luciano

    • Carol, where in New Jersey are you? A couple of weeks ago we visited my son in Glassboro. He’s attending Rowan University and I’m really coming to love the area. Enjoy the beautiful fall for me. The leaves were just starting to turn when we were there.

  5. I live in Texas too and as you know we don’t get the pretty leaves changing on the trees. But I still like looking at them so I look at lots of pictures online. In the fall I start to get outside more often and enjoy the somewhat cooler temperatures. I also look forward to getting the windows open in the house again so I can smell the fresh air.

  6. I think it would be hard to not see the physical changes of fall. I have lived in Michigan my whole life so fall is the beautiful, note worthy, physical change I have always loved. My favorite thing is sipping hot apple cider while watching the leaves fall gracefully to the ground.

  7. We like to take the kids to the corn maze that is just a couple of miles from our house. Over the years they have added a petting zoo, a tractor train, hay rides, a haunted maze at Halloween, and then they change it to a nativity maze for Christmas. They have a vegetable stand and have added a cafe with crafts and treats for the adults as well as the kids to enjoy.

  8. I’m not sure we have very strong fall traditions–we do transition to making lots of soups and stews, with split pea being one of DS2’s favorites, and curries being another fan favorite 😉

  9. We go to the pumpkin patch and get pumpkins for the boys, er boy–older two are in college. Halloween, my birthday, and Thanksgiving! The best of Autumn.

  10. I also live in Texas. I love watching college football. My dream is to drive along the East Coast to enjoy the Fall foliage.

    • Caryl, the hard thing about going to the east coast for foliage is the timing. We were in New Jersey this October, but the leaves were just starting to turn. We were so disappointed.

  11. Julie – Thanks for your blog. I was in Texas for a week a beautiful BIG state. What’s not to enjoy about Fall. All the changing colors, temps, Halloween & family get together’s. I live in Indiana so we get it all……

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