Part of the reason why I’m glad to be in Utah (and particularly the northern half of it) is the fact there are four distinct seasons. Not that other places I’ve lived haven’t had four distinct seasons, but that these seasons follow the course I was taught to expect seasons to follow.

You know, the Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter cycle—all by itself.

There isn’t much seasonal change in Florida. Temps don’t drop much below the 60’s Fahrenheit during the day, though some nights may drop into the 30’s, at least in the Cocoa Beach/Cape Canaveral area where I spent most of my years in Florida.

I never lived long enough in New York State (around Syracuse), to recall much of anything beyond one hot summer as a high school graduate and one winter in sixth grade I tromped through snow up to my hips to get to school.

Northwestern Oregon was mostly rainy, and so was the southern part of Washington state, right across the Columbia River, where I lived in Oregon. Sometimes we got snow. Rarely. Most of the time, we didn’t see snow unless someone drove up the mountains to fill their pickup and bring it down to us in our more “temperate” clime. The brief times we spent in various other places in Oregon resulted in more seasonal variation, but my memory is unclear on which locations had that variation as well as precisely when I lived in all of them except Baker, Oregon, where I recall we got a fair bit of snow and had a decently warm summer.

And in North Carolina, where I spent about half my adult life, we had Spring, Hot and Humid, Hurricane, and Ice Storm. Not exactly the seasonal variation I longed to experience. Hurricane season (which happens sometime between midsummer and winter) was never fun, for we lived in various mobile homes throughout our years in NC, and mobile homes aren’t exactly firmly attached to the ground. Some of those hurricanes that happened on the coast still managed to tear up Fayetteville, where I lived.

Before moving here to Utah, I’d always, always, always wanted to live in a location where there was a decent, predictable seasonal variation. One wherein there weren’t any possible life risks (like hurricanes). Don’t get me wrong. Of all the places I’ve lived, I’d have to say I loved NC the best—after Utah.

But here in northern Utah, I have the seasonal variation I craved. We’re right now sliding down into true autumn temperature-wise. The heat in my building, which is controlled by a central unit to be employed by our individual apartment units, has been on for about two weeks now. Outside, the leaves are turning color, and it’s necessary to have some sort of warmth-garment for being out past sunset though the days can still be quite comfortably warm (if one isn’t particularly cold-blooded), especially when in direct sunlight. We’re having more rain, too, and we desperately need it after the lack of snow we had last winter (3, maybe 4 snow days, and it didn’t stick). I’m hoping we get more snow this year.

My favorite season has always been Fall, at least anywhere I’ve lived where there have been trees whose leaves changed color. I love crunching through the dried leaves on the ground and will frequently detour into carpets of them on the ground whenever the opportunity presents itself; this is something I’ll even take off my ever-present headphones for, just so I can hear the crunch of the leaves. I also love the fact that it’s the time of the year when the weather’s cooling down. Here in Utah, autumn comes at just about the right time for me—right when I’m getting sick of the hot weather and want it to be cool again.

My second-favorite season is Spring. For pretty much the same reason, though in reverse, as I enjoy fall so much. In Spring, it’s warming up, just about the time when I’m tired of the cold and sick of the snow (when we get it). I may have a small amount of Seasonal Affective Disorder, though it’s never been diagnosed, because when Spring comes around and things start warming up and the days start getting visibly longer, my mood always rises a little. I appreciate the fact that I no longer have to bundle up in layers of clothing and a thick coat with hats and scarves and gloves (which I resist wearing no matter how cold it gets because I’m with my hands the same way some people are with their feet). I’m happy to go back to wearing my hoody and sweaters for cold-weather garments, and the rain (if we get any), is an anticipated sign that things are really getting warmer.

And if I have to pick a third-place in the Seasonal Games, I’d have to say that’s Winter. Yes, even with the difficulties it can pose to getting around. All my really nice clothes are long-sleeved, and my best jeans are too dark for summer wear, so through fall and winter, I’m able to wear my winter garments. I find it particularly fun to bundle up throughout most of winter, especially if it gets really cold, and I enjoy the holiday spirit in December (probably because I’m no longer quite so concerned with shopping for gifts for people).

Which makes Summer the season I like least. I won’t say I detest Summer—at least not here in Utah. In North Carolina? Hated Summer. But here I find Summer easier to bear, mostly because I live in high desert and it’s rarely very humid here in summer, even after a good thunderstorm. It’s still not my favorite season. Mostly because I’m overweight and it’s uncouth for someone of my weight to traipse about in bikini tops and boy-cut shorts—even if I felt comfortable wearing them. In fact, the I absolutely hate the clothing associated with summer, mostly because the only way I can be comfortable is if I wear femmy stuff, and I refuse to do that, which means I’m relegated to tee shirts.