I've been looking for Fall, and without much luck. It seems the weather jumped from summertime heat to winter cold, and Mother Nature apparently forgot my favorite season. I always look forward to the Fall season of moderating temperatures and the winding down of the lawn mowing regimen.
When I was growing up on the farm, the Fall was a time when the hot hard work of putting up hay was finally easing up, and one could enjoy getting out and doing things without the heat and perspiration. Of course, Fall has never lasted long enough for me, speaking of back then as well as now. About the time you get accustomed to the nice 60s temperatures and the changing colors, the leaves on the trees all fall off and the air gets chilly.
I did find a snatch of Fall yesterday (Sunday). The day started out cold, about 32 or 33, but it warmed as the day moved on, and the feel of the day became sunny and nice. I took it in thoroughly, savoring the pleasantness, and trying to save it up for those days soon coming that will again turn cold and dreary. Maybe as we move into Thanksgiving season Fall will return to stave off the chill that we expect in December and January. I noticed the other day in the Overboard column in the Democrat-Gazette that Nate, the big pirate, was reluctantly giving the entering month of November his passport to come on in. For many seasons, Nate is known to resist the change for as long as possible, especially the part which has the leaves falling from the trees and the cold winter winds howling. Unlike Nate, I always welcome the months of October and November, except when they do as October did this year and turn like December rather than easing into cooler weather.
There used to be an old country song that told about the easing of the seasonal toils of farm life, although it also revealed that the farmer wasn't very ambitious. It went something like this,
"What'ye gonna do when the corn's laid by Sugar Babe?
What'ye gonna do when the corn's laid by, Sugar Babe?
What'ye gonna do when the corn's laid by?
(Change to the husband)
Lay in the shade and look at the sky.
That's what we'll do when the corn's laid by, Sugar Babe!
Obviously that was kind of a silly song, as many were back then. Consider how silly "Ole DanTucker" was. The other verses of my song were,
"What'ye gonna do when the meat's all gone, Sugar Babe?
(Set in a corner and gnaw on a bone), and
"What'ye gonna do when yer shoes git thin, Sugar Babe?
(You can dot he work, 'n I'll stay in).
That's what we'll do when the shoes git thin, Sugar Babe.
Well, we really didn't live like that, or farm like that. And I can't endorse the lazy lifestyle that my old song represents. However, there's something to be said about "Layin' in the shade and lookin' at the sky from time to time."
The other morning there literally was frost on the pumpkin. It reminded me that we used to have a lady from the Brightwater area who wrote a community report column in the local paper. She often referred to Merry Sunshine and Jack Frost. I can't recall her name. Anyway, it seems that Merry Sunshine has had something of a hard year in 2019; many of the days that normally are reserved for her have been taken away by those dreary, rainy, windy days. Well, she wedged herself back in over the past weekend, although she didn't get to push the temperature backup into the upper 70s as she would have liked. A few days ago, Jack Frost did a number on my gourd plant in the back yard, although I'll have to say that it produced bountifully this year. I have this plant that produces these small multi-colored decorative gourds. My daughter decorated our table with a cornucopia filled with my colorful gourds.
It really gives that seasonal appeal. I may have to add an ear or two of corn as we move toward Thanksgiving.
Although November came in with some cold temperatures, it has given us some grand colors. In our neighborhood, (the Windmill Estates or Old Miller farm), we have a variety of trees, most of them turning great Fall colors. My neighbor, Bill Ryan, has one of those red maple trees in his front lawn. In the fall, it begins showing a fringe of red, and you get this blending of reds and greens that I really enjoy.
I don'tknow what you call my maple tree, but it is not as spectacular as Bill's next door. My maple turns yellow, which is good, but I am more impressed by the reds and the oranges and the orange browns. I saw Bill in the front lawn on Friday and offered to trade trees with him, but I couldn't arouse any interest in the trade. Apparently Bill got to choose his tree when he bought his house, and he purposely chose the red maple. On the other side of Bill's house the next neighbors have a great old persimmon tree, apparently surviving from the old Miller farm days. It produces a bounty of persimmons every year, and right now is showing those beautiful orange persimmons all over. Persimmons are quite good if you don't try eating them too early. I got embarrassed one time when I was trying to assure a friend that persimmons were good to eat. We picked some, too early, and bit into them, much to our distress.
Editor's note: Jerry Nichols, a native of Pea Ridge and an award-winning columnist, is vice president of Pea Ridge Historical Society. He can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 621-1621.Editorial on 11/06/2019
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