The First Hot Chocolate!

Whenever it rains in September, the conversation inevitably turns toward predicted snowfall.  Over the past two days we have gotten enough rain to have been over two feet of snow - if the temperature had been about twenty degrees less.  But it's the dreaming that makes the foliage season so much fun.  Every leaf that falls, every drop of rain means that we are that much closer to the real thing falling from the sky.  It's so cold and damp that when we close the curtains and make a fire we can pretend that it's snow blowing around outside rather than torrential rain.  But nothing marks the oncoming winter season like that first mug of hot chocolate. 
Hot Chocolate: A sign of winter's much anticipated arrival
My first mug of cocoa this year was at my mom's house in Vermont.  I had just gotten home from working at the Birch Ridge Inn and was feeling simply exhausted.  The autumn wind was howling outside and leaves were blowing just about everywhere.  Aaron had the most wonderful fire going in the two-sided stone fireplace and I immediately knew that there was only one thing left to make the evening perfect as I snuggled up in front of the fire with Vespoli and Aaron: a nice warm mug of hot chocolate topped off with a thick layer of mini-marshmallows. 
Today is another one of those blustery, torrential downpour kind of days.  Unfortunately, I haven't done my winter shopping yet and am desperately missing both my cocoa and my marshmallows.  Yet another sign that it is not yet quite winter.  Oh well.  I know that everything will work out in the end.  The snow will always fall when Mother Nature finally decides to drop the temperatures below that magic number of 32 degrees Fahrenheit.  The only question now is WHEN?!