Editor’s Note: PSL, please

I like pumpkin spice lattes and a lot of other “basic” fall things, and I do not care what comedian Bo Burnham thinks about it.
person holding a pumpkin spice late
Photo by Getty

I like pumpkin spice lattes and a lot of other “basic” fall things, and I do not care what comedian Bo Burnham thinks about it. I will absolutely buy a few tiny pumpkins at the farmstand down the road, and yeah, I might post about it on Instagram. Please just let me have a few simple joys, Bo.

But for me it’s more about the comfort those things provide and the change they signal than the things themselves. I love the start of new seasons. I don’t think I could live somewhere that doesn’t bring the heat of summer, then the changing of the leaves, followed by the first snow and then the slow (and I mean slow) return to green. Each quarter is like a blank sheet of paper to me. Maybe that’s why I love the fact that every month’s issue feels like a chance to turn the page on last month’s work and start from scratch.

Working at a magazine where we’re creating content months in advance and looking at the full calendar year in a big-picture way on a weekly basis, it’s kind of nice to be reminded that we’re actually living in these seasons in real time, even if we’re writing winter stories in August.

While I crave the fresh-start feeling and I’m constantly on the hunt for it, reminders that time moves fast help me slow down my forward motion for just a second to reflect on the last season of life. Gratitude and acknowledgement of what came before makes it feel a lot easier to jump into the next chapter with what feels like a clean slate.

I’m doing some reflecting as I write this, while we wrap up production on this issue. So many of this month’s stories have to do with change — our cover story is about home renovations, the feature story focuses on the local food industry dealing with existing issues and new realities as they chart a forward course, Doug Moe introduces our readers to the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s new athletic director, an experienced emergency room doctor acknowledges that there will always be more to learn, Native chefs are preserving ancestral food traditions by putting their own spin on Indigenous meals and John Roach reminds us how different it will be at Camp Randall Stadium without Barry Alvarez in a formal role.

That’s a lot of change to cover in 76 pages. But it feels especially fitting since this fall is already so different from last year’s. The past 20 months have taught us to get a little more comfortable with new ways of thinking and acting. It’s been an incredible period of growth for me personally, however challenging. And if a pumpkin spice latte helps make another season a little easier to consider, so be it.

Now excuse me while I go put on a comfy sweater and listen to a spooky podcast in peace.