The aroma of freshly baked pumpkin pie, a cool evening wind whistling through the yard, the return of long-sleeved shirts and a new season of television shows. Yep, it must be autumn.

According to the calendar, fall kicked off Sept. 22. It’s one of my favorite seasons, packed full of tasty smells, a change in weather as well as clothes, and many warm memories to reminisce about as well as countless new ones to create.

Here’s a look at a few of my favorite fall flavors.

Cooler weather. It may be a slow cool-down, but it’s certain to come. No longer is Tucson seeing 100-degree plus weather. Granted, the city’s high is still in the upper 80s to mid-90s, but that’s quite a significant difference from the temperatures summer brought us.

I am filled with such energy when my 22-month-old son, Zachary, and I take to the backyard early in the morning to feel the cool air breeze across our faces. My husband Shane, Zachary and I can stroll through the neighborhood in the evening and actually enjoy the now-pleasant climate.

Change of wardrobe. Fall brings about a great excuse to try out new clothes. Whether hitting the stores for a warmer wardrobe or dusting off last year’s apparel, I find great excitement in anticipating long sleeves, pants and socks. I found myself at a store recently shopping for a cute sweater for myself and warmer clothes for my son. While it’s not quite sweater weather during the day just yet, the mornings and nights are beginning to warrant warmer wear.

Pumpkin coffee (or anything pumpkin). Fall brings about my favorite flavor and a much-desired food: pumpkin. The Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks is a tasty way to usher in fall. Robeks makes a delicious pumpkin smoothie. Filled with pumpkin, soy milk, nonfat vanilla frozen yogurt and ice, pumpkin fans are in for a treat. Excited for autumn to hit, I happened to ask a Robeks employee about the tasty treat in the off-season. Turns out, while it’s not on the menu year-round, they can make it if you request it.

Another favorite of mine is pumpkin pie. Costco’s huge pumpkin pie is a real hit in our family. It’s too big for our household to eat alone, so I look for any excuse to buy it. Shane’s parents recently visited from out of town, so I made a trip to Costco so we could enjoy a few days of pumpkin pie for dessert.

New television shows debut. Fall brings about new TV series and the season premieres of returning shows, which is fun to anticipate. I used to be quite the season premiere connoisseur, watching one commercial after another in an attempt to decide which new series I would try and when my favorites would return. Nowadays, I don’t watch nearly as much television. Still, we record our favorites and, on rare occasions, treat ourselves to an hour or two of “MasterChef” or “Dancing With the Stars,” to name a couple.

Special holidays and events. Fall is chock-full of holidays and special events for our family to look forward to. We’ll dress up our tot for Halloween and try out some trick-or-treating. Our extended family gathers for Thanksgiving. And right between the two holidays is Zachary’s birthday. It’s a celebration I’ve been looking forward to planning for months now.

There’s also the Harvest Moon cookout that our family seems to have made a tradition. We head to my parents’ large yard, barbecue in a pit my dad made and enjoy our dinner by the light of the moon.

As if that’s not enough excitement, the middle of fall brings about the start of the shopping season for Christmas.

I hope you’re able to take a moment to sit back, relax and enjoy all the exciting changes that fall brings.

Sarah Mckeown works at a local charter school and lives on the east side with her husband and son. Email her at