1. The New York Times recreational forecast changes from Fall Foliage Watch to Mountain Temperatures, after pronouncing that the fall colour everywhere except North Carolina is 'past peak'. (Poor North Carolina, not allowed to revel in its moment of 'peak' glory...)
2. You spot cars with their ski-racks on. And it's still 18 degrees centigrade outside....
3. Enormous trucks with gigantic hoses, making the noise of small airliners, trawl along your street every other day to collect piles of leaves.
4. Meanwhile all your neighbours are zealously preparing for winter, removing vulnerable plants and employing large gangs of 'landscapers', looking a little like the Ghostbusters with huge contraptions strapped to their backs, to leaf-blow.
5. Everyone ominously keeps telling you to make the most of it, because this will be the last mild weekend. The following weekend, they tell you the same thing.
6. You go to a beautiful seashore preserve for a weekend stroll and wonder where everyone else is. Then you pop into the Bed, Bath and Beyond parking lot on the way back and it is mayhem. Everyone is shopping manically for 'the holidays'.
7. Your child comes home from preschool singing a mysterious new song. The exact words are a little unclear, but sound like 'the pumpkin rolled away, on Thanksgiving Day.' You wonder if this signifies the removal of the ubiquitous Halloween decorations and the putting up of Christmas ones....
8...Then you see an inflatable turkey on someone's front lawn (something you joked about in a previous post) and realise that Thanksgiving decorations come first.
9. People keep asking you what you are doing 'for the holidays'. When you reply that you are British and Thanksgiving is not a big deal for you, they simply do not believe you.
10. You start wondering what on earth you ARE going to do for Thanksgiving, seeing as cooking a turkey for four people seems excessive, and everything else will be closed.....