Whoo hoo! It’s Fall–let’s rock the red and and enjoy the season to its max! I have always loved the Fall, or as we call it in the England, Autumn. But Autumn in the UK is very different to Fall in North Carolina, where I live now.
Fall in the UK
The temperature in England plummets in September, the fog descends around October, and the mizzle–misty drizzle–arrives in November. We don’t really celebrate Halloween, but have Guy Fawkes day–Bonfire Night–with its colorful firework displays. I love the roaring bonfires, treacle toffee, pulling on mittens, scarves, and wellies. I even love the return of short days, and playing conkers. Conkers is a traditional British played with the seeds of a horse chestnut tree (you call them buckeyes in America). Lastly, I even adore switching on the radiators–so cozy, it speaks to me in a nostalgic way.
Here in my adopted home in NC, the Fall is as different as the terms used to name the season. We have only just had a temperature drop here, but the sun is still shining, the sky is still blue, and even though the mornings are chilly enough for heat, I’ve still yet to deploy a coat.
Fall in America
Yesterday, I drove back from Virginia, my home until earlier this year. We had made a quick trip to visit my son, and revisit our life there. On the journey back, we had to drive along the outskirts of the Shenandoah valley, past Lurray, and up over the blue ridge mountains. The I-81 is such a pretty route, the fall color is just about coming to an end, but the scenery is still breathtaking. Shockingly, in one part there was a light dusting of snow which reminded me that ‘Winter is coming’.
It really was a lovely drive and it got me thinking about why, since moving to America, Fall/Autumn has become my most favorite season. Yes, the Fall color is AMAZING, and now I love Halloween in lieu of Bonfire Night. Of course, the pot mums blooming in great gaudy shows on people’s porches, are a wonderful cheery sight that I look forward to. I love that it is finally soup season again–I love making homemade soups, but that is for another blog post!
But, despite all that Fall has to offer on this side of the pond, there is one particular thing that I have looked forward to Every. Single. Year. For fifteen straight years…
The hockey season begins!
How I found hockey
When I moved stateside, I had barely even heard of ice hockey, and had never watched a match. I am unashamedly a sport hater. If sport came on the TV, that was my cue to do the laundry, dishes–anything–to avoid it. Cricket, soccer, rugby, athletics–you name it, my hubby had tried to force me to get into it. So, it came as a big shock when I moved to America and he suggested we went to watch a hockey game. Honestly, I would have rather had my teeth pulled, but what the heck, I was assured this was a key American experience, and at least I would be able to say, I had done it.
I walked into the Verizon Center (now the Capital One Arena) a hockey Virgin, and walked out of there a hockey slut! Oh. My. God! What had I been missing out on all these years! I was instantly hooked. One live game led me to begin following the Washington Capitals on TV, watching ever-growing numbers of matches, until I was tuning in for every game. Before I knew it, we had purchased season tickets and were making the trip into Washington two or three times a week. At the height of my hockey sluttiness, I even flew to Nashville, to watch an away game, and spent the whole weekend stalking the players. It was ridiculous, I was a complete fan girl. My usually reserved British politeness was out the window in 1.3 seconds, and the next minute, I had my arms around Michael Latta and Braydon Holtby. SWOON!
Now I’m hooked
My hockey obsession is so bad that Autumn is now synonymous with hockey! So come on everyone, it’s Fall–let’s rock the red… or blue or green or orange. As long as it’s hockey, I don’t care what color you wanna rock!
How hockey affected my writing
But of course, my love of hockey didn’t just stop at being a rabid fan of the game, it actually led to me writing my first book.
The Hockey Punk Series was written while I sat on the bleachers watching my son play the game. My hockeyitus even made me a hockey mom. Set in my local town, in VA, around that local ice rink where I wrote it, the Hockey Punk series is still the way most of my readers discover me. Apart from the hockey element, they love its gritty, heartbreaking storylines, and the fact that the books tackle social issues without pulling punches. There are five, full-length novels to wring every tear out of you, but I promise a HEA every, single time. All but the last two books in the series are standalone–these are a two-part story that ties up the series in a very dramatic way.
Fall should be renamed the Hockey Season
So, yeah, Autumn is unashamedly my favorite season because–say it with me! It’s Fall–let’s rock the red.
Coincidently, I like Winter too, because… more hockey games, and the Winter Classic. Spring is also a-maze-ing, because it is the Stanley Cup play offs.
Sadly, summer is rather lacking in hockey, but at least that gives me time for my other passions, reading and traveling. But that is, also, for another blog post.
The Hockey Punk Series can be downloaded for FREE on KINDLE UNLIMITED