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Appreciate all of the little things about autumn

During the past few days we noticed that the leaves have begun to change. It was so subtle that you might not have noticed it, but it’s the first sign that fall has arrived.
It’s the time of the year we always look forward to — when you notice the days getting shorter, cooler temperatures in the morning and evening, sweater season as we refer to it.
A few spots around town, if you stand very still, you can hear the rustling of the branches’ leaves, the hum of heating and cooling units, the whistle of the wind, the muffle of traffic. We know it’s not; but all combined, these noises sound a bit like angels singing in the distance.
Among the four seasons, how can you not be fond of fall, especially here in Northeast Tennessee? It’s still warm enough to take advantage of the full array of outdoor activities like hiking and biking, but not too hot to make for unbearable conditions.
We live in an area which is among the best to view the fall color. Trees are plentiful, and the vibrant colors they will soon produce can be viewed everywhere from downtown Elizabethton to the top of the Roan, around Watauga Lake, up Stoney Creek, and places here and between.
Sports fans can enjoy baseball and football at the same time. Fans of all things frightening can gear up for Halloween, something many now do weeks in advance of the Oct. 31 date. We already are seeing yards decorated with ghosts and goblins, and they will become even more common as the end of October grows closer.
Alas, enjoy it while it lasts. By the time November rolls around, signs of winter will be evident. Outdoor activities will slow to a minimum as it’s hard to work them in during a day which includes just nine hours of daylight. Of course, when the snow flies and winter’s blustery winds blow, venturing outdoors becomes a necessity rather than a choice.
So, while you’re reaching for that flannel shirt, which is perfect fall apparel, you might want to dig out your coat, hat, and gloves, too. Unless you’re a snowbird, you’re going to need them before you know it.
But, for now we look forward to cool evenings, color bursting from the trees and annual rituals that mark this time of year. We also await good news on the health front, as scientists work on a coronavirus vaccine, and we all pull together to reduce risks of COVID-19.
But, for now find a quiet spot, and take a moment to appreciate all of the little things that come your way, the people you hold close, good health, and a place called home.