I've been mourning the end of summer lately. "Pouting" might be a better word, according to some of my friends. I can't help it. I love the warm summer weather! Notice how the last 4 months of the year all end in "-Ber"? I'm just saying, that can't be a coincidence. The sun staying up until 9 p.m., concerts, outdoor activities in general, and the "dress code" are some of the best parts of summer. These three months are the most fun time of the year and, in my opinion, go too fast.

Honestly, it feels like we were just at the McGrath Amphitheatre last night, enjoying Chicago onstage to kick off the summer. Now, Labor Day weekend has come and gone, leaving just a couple more "official" weeks of my favorite season.

However, in an attempt to be more positive, I do have a list of a few of my favorite things about fall and (shudder) winter.

1. FOOTBALL. College or pro, football is without a doubt my favorite sport. Good thing it's played and televised in the fall, or I would be even more grumpy than I already am after Labor Day. Make sure you enter your weekly picks to win a gas card or up to $10,000 in our Pigskin Pick 'Em. When the "major leagues" are done playing, The Cedar Rapids Titans continue the gridiron fix right into spring as well.

2. Concerts. The concert calendar has not cleared out just because summer is over. Quite the contrary. Already booked between now and the end of the year here in Cedar Rapids: ZZ Top, Rick Springfield, Rob Thomas and Jim Brickman, to name a few. At least if I have to be holed up inside, some of the time it can be spent at one of our great entertainment venues enjoying some live music. Check out our events calendar for details on upcoming shows.

3. The re-opening of Greene SquareThe plan as I understand it, is to have construction in Greene Square complete in early 2016 but I've also heard rumblings they'd like to have it ready enough for the city Christmas tree lighting ceremony this year. Either way, another downtown gem is getting a makeover and regardless of whatever politics are involved, it will be nice to have that area accessible again.

4. Food.  Not being the greatest cook, Tater Tot Casserole is actually one of the best dishes I’ve mastered, not that it’s that hard. You don’t really want to heat up the oven too much in the summer months, especially not for the amount of time it takes to properly cook this, but it’ll definitely warm you up and fill your belly when the cold hits. You can add bacon to it to make it even better. I don’t know if anyone will have that idea at Thomas Dostal Developers Baconfest, but there will be plenty of other bacon dishes to sample on September 26 at NewBo City Market. Get the details on the event here. Bacon is appropriate for all seasons. I also like to fire up a pot of chili for some comfort food, but I could easily trade it for more summer.

5. Television. It's been a long time since I've found a lot of shows worth watching in the fall season but "The Middle", "The Goldbergs", and Tim Allen's awesome "Last Man Standing" are all back this fall with a couple of intriguing new shows debuting as well, "Blood & Oil", a "Dallas" clone which marks '80s icon Don Johnson's return to television; and "The Grinder", where another '80s star (noticing a theme here?) Fred Savage returns as a lawyer alongside Rob Lowe, his brother who played a lawyer on TV and now thinks he can become a real one. I'm busting a gut already.

So see, I can find a few redeeming qualities in the fall and winter months. That being said,  you can have them all back if we could just make summer a little longer. Please?

What do you like most about Fall, or do you prefer another season? Let us know in the comments section below!

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