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Four Years at the Mount

Senior Year

The smell of autumn is in the air

Samantha Strub

(10/2012) The smell of pumpkin spice and salted caramel mocha floating through the air from Starbucks creates the aroma of autumn for me. The strong smell of those signature autumn drinks always brings back memories from when I was growing up. An autumn memory generally started with a trip to Starbucks with one of those drinks in hand. Through high school and into college, those drinks were a staple which may explain why Iím so broke now. The aroma of those smells floating through the air always brings back memories of the good old days when life wasnít as chaotic.

The days are starting to get cooler with a little chill in the air, but there is no snow on the ground. These autumn days are the perfect riding weather. It isnít so unbearably hot that the moment you step outside you become drenched with sweat. On those hot summer days, one has no desire to do anything much less get on the back of a horse. So when the days start getting a little colder, the riding kicks into gear again. All horse riders cannot wait to get outside and continue their spring work with their horses now that it is the perfect temperature outside ónot too hot or too cold. In high school, after school and field hockey practice was over, I would head to the barn where my riding buddies were waiting for me. My riding buddies usually went to the barn right after school got out, but they would wait for me to be done with field hockey practice so we could all ride together.

Once I got to the barn we would work our horses for about an hour or so. It was a good break away from school and the chaos the day brings. It was a chance to escape reality and focus on the horses. As autumn progressed and the days got darker and colder earlier, our riding was moved indoors. When we needed to warm up after the training we put into the horses, we went on the aromatic fall journey on which only Starbucks can take you. The combination of the caramel, mocha and pumpkin spice smells was tantalizing. These delicious favors and smells were just the icing on the cake to the special time with the horses and friends that we just had at the barn. On Saturdays, the tradition continued and after my friend Noelle and I finished chores and riding, we would more often than not take a trip to Starbucks.

Starbucks and other autumn smells continued to be a tradition after field hockey games. As the field hockey season progressed, the weather conditions got colder. Needless to say, as the sweat from a long hard fight for the win we dried, we were freezing and exhausted. To our benefit, our parents wanted the special treat as a way to warm up after being our biggest fans on the sidelines. All in all, everyone was happy to walk into the nearest Starbucks as a way to warm up and celebrate around the delicious smells that Starbucks has to offer.

In college, the Starbucks tradition has continued, though maybe not quite so often. I still stop at Starbucks after field hockey games on occasion as well as after a good ride; however, it has become more of a delicacy now that I have tuition and more bills to pay than I did in high school. Starbucks has become a traditional stopping point as a pit stop on my way out to The Mount and on the way home. This tradition started because I needed an energy boost while I was sitting in a car for ten hours straight. It helps that most of the time my parents give me money for the trip there and back, so my parents are treating me to Starbucks. This little treat makes the car ride just a little more enjoyable, as well as making the car smell delicious. The autumn and winter trips are the best because they are the flavors that I long for and canít wait to have that cup with the quote in your hand.

My friends and I started the tradition of going to Starbucks to do homework. When the fall flavors started, we all wanted to rush out and enjoy the delicious autumn flavors but we had mountains of homework to accomplish. That is when we decided we should make a trip to Starbucks to do homework and enjoy the autumn flavors and each otherís company.

My mother and I have always had the tradition of going shopping when Iím home on breaks from college. This is quality mother-daughter time that we do not have very often. That being said, it is always a challenge to stick to a schedule for shopping. Our goal is to go by ourselves because then no-one complains about how long we take trying on clothes or looking through all of the racks around the store. We typically get very thirsty when we shop so we make a trip to Starbucks a part of the shopping tradition.

These shopping trips are not just shopping for ourselves but also shopping for Christmas presents. My mom has always had the goal of accomplishing all of the Christmas shopping by Thanksgiving (or not too long after), that way she is not in the stores during the busiest shopping season. My mother is a bargain hunteróshe has a knack for finding the best deals on the racks. I donít always come home for Thanksgiving but when I do we make numerous shopping trips because some of the best deals are discovered around Thanksgiving. These Christmas shopping gifts take a very long time and no one besides my sister and I will volunteer to go with her. That works out to our benefit because then we get the thinking juice of Starbucks autumn flavorsóeveryone else just doesnít know what they are missing. My mother, sister and I always have a blast browsing through the stores looking for the perfect gift. When we find something we debate on whether it would be a good gift for that particular person or not. My sister is a new member on these excursions so we have to familiarize her with our ways of thinking. It could take a little while, but once she is fully acclimated, the three of us will have a flawless system.

Bonfires truly are the epitome of autumn memories. They have to be one of my favorite autumn pastimes. The heat and smell of a bonfire wraps around you and your family and friends like a warm blanket. There is not another feeling in the world that compares to the intoxicating smell of a bonfire. My family has a big fire pit in the backyard where my family and friends have sat around the bonfire roasting marshmallows for símores and telling stories. We usually have dead bushes or a tree to burn; my mom always gets very excited because that means we are roasting marshmallows for símores. Símores are my momís favorite dessert and her excitement is contagious. We relax and bond as a family, wrapped up in blankets under the stars.

All that needs to happen is a blending between the outdoor smells of the bonfire and the autumn flavors at Starbucksóthat would be a wonderful mixture!

Read past editions of Samantha Strub's Four Years at the Mount