John Vuchetich

Every year as the air blows in like a northern specter on translucent Icey wings, the grass like old hermits shrivel away from the approaching specter, lose their moister and shrivel away, every step you take upon the cowering hidden abbots is loud, crunchy and crisp  

As winter flies in, people feeling the change in the air like a sailor smelling a storm approaching, batten down their fields, pull out the warm blankets and most importantly the baking pans.  

For whatever reason we as a society have decided that the best baked goods are reserved for the coldest seasons. Warm cookies wafting through the kitchen and into the rest of the house drawing children by the nose only to be showed away by the guardians of the still cooling cookies.  

Pies: pumpkin, apple, cookie, strawberry rhubarb, any berry you can think of, and all of that topped with homemade whipped topping. Just knowing the season is coming makes your mouth water and your stomach growl. But more than all of these, it is king of desserts, a sugary granola crunch mixed with whatever fruity goodness and a dallop of cold ice cream on top. The epitome of the season, all of fall captured in one dish, a Crisp.  

As the wind howls and the once green leaves fall to the ground the sight of every shade from green to red to yellow to brown. On the branches a beauty, in the air as the leaves are pulled around, they become a tornado of wonder but as soon as they fall to the ground, they are one of two things. A nuisance to be cleaned or the most entertaining thing since the color television. Raked into a massive pile with the promise to bag and remove them while the intent is much more mischievous.  

Once the pile is complete you set your rake down, run back, and take a leap into the pile of leaves, feeling each scratch your exposed skin as you fall deeper into the heap. Finally, as you settle you feel everything above and below you, and all of it is smelly, scratchy, and Crisp.  

A walk in the evening, the sun is going down and what little heat is left has left the earth. A north-easterly wind rips past you stealing any feeling of warmth that was still clinging to your body. You laugh as the people you are walking with show the same discomfort as you feel right now. A bond in discomfort.  

As the air gets colder you can almost see your breath and your nose burns, screaming against the dry air. You turn to the other people going on the stroll with you and say the only thing you can think of to describe the temperature, “Wow, this weather is crisp.”  

The season of fall has a lot of memories, shared feelings, and experiences for those in the Midwest, whether it be changes in vegetation, food, entertainment or weather. The entire season of fall can be summed up with one word. A brief but accurate and to the point summary. You could say summing up a season in one word is crisp.