This time of the year may bring about more debate than any of the temperate seasons.
Autumn always finds herself in an awkward, almost no-win position. She serves as a transitioning from the glorious warm-weather months of June, July and August to the dark, often-depressing period of shorter days, lower temperatures and overall gloomy conditions that will envelope us from mid-to-late November until the spring thaws.
We often tend to glorify fall, with her brilliant foliage and brisk but not uncomfortable days, instead of embracing the lady for what she really is -- a climatic executioner who annually leads us to the gallows of another woeful winter.
Fall is not our friend; she is more along the lines of a weather-related Mata Hari, a conniving meteorological mistress.
For every sun-splashed autumnal afternoon you will enjoy, just remember there will be at least two or three savagely cold days awaiting in December, January and February.
With this is mind, let me offer a small checklist of overrated items and thoughts about autumn as we work our way toward barren trees, cold drizzly afternoons and 5 p.m. sunsets.
º Is there no end?: Pumpkin this, pumpkin that. There's even pumpkin spice-flavored coffee creamer. I know, because I have to buy at least one bottle a week for my wife every year at this time.
"Come on. You can admit that pumpkin tastes like wood shavings and burnt sugar," writer Paige Turner pines. "It's OK to jump off the bandwagon now."
I have to go with Paige on this one. By the time the holidays are over, I cannot bear to smell, taste or eat another pumpkin bar, piece of pumpkin pie or smell that pumpkin-spice -flavored coffee creamer.
Oh, and did I forget to mention the 136 pumpkin-related decorations inside and outside our home?
º Why? Someone just tell me why: I don't care what the original reason was, or why we still do it, but this crazy time change in the fall is for the birds. I simply hate those 5 p.m. -- or earlier -- sunsets we'll soon be seeing.
º Unbe-leave-able: Aren't those gold and garnet combinations of leaves just breathtaking on the rows of trees this time of year?
Well, in a few more days they'll all be on the ground and someone will have to rake them up. Just another one of autumn's tricks.
º An unwanted ending: Fall also means the end of baseball season. She whets our appetite with another outstanding World Series, and then snatches the love of our sporting life from us until pitchers and catchers report to spring training in February.
This isn't to say we can never enjoy some, or even all of what autumn bestows on us, but the bottom line is that we can never trust her.