Ed Cook’s Fall Blog: Fall is a memory

This time of year smells different. I love that smell.  It reminds me of being a kid and jumping in a pile of leaves. I was out this weekend doing one more lawn mow and “putting away summer”.  Fall is nearly over.  It’s amazing the way time flies.  Fall has been my favorite season.  I don’t like winter because of the snow, summer…too hot.  Fall brings The World Series, the Football season, and so many other constants, natural and Man-made.  Years ago, when I was single used to take my vacation weeks in the fall when crowds had gone and the weather was cooler and more conducive to my outdoor activities.  I have vivid memories of hiking in the Shenandoah in late September and playing golf in South Carolina in November.  Of course you need spring too to start the baseball season.

The turning of the leaves (if you live in the right part of the country) is also a particular pleasure.  A great memory.  While I enjoy seeing the leaves turn color, it is more meaningful because of memories of my uncle who was a priest in the Philippines, but had grown up in Massachusetts.  He enjoyed the colored leaves, so every year my mother and I would send him some red, yellow and orange leaves, sandwiched between sheets of waxed paper so they would stay fresh, so he could enjoy them and show his Filipino students who had and would never see a New England Fall colored leaf.

When I was young I generally looked forward to going back to school in September, some years more than others.  Those cool mornings waiting at the bus stop. Of course you usually had some very hot days cooped up in school but not too many.  Good memories.  When I became a parent and had children of school age, they too were excited to go back to classes in the fall.  School starts in August now but fall is just around the corner.

Of course fall means a certain finality.  The trees are losing their leaves and plants are dying.  Raking leaves, bagging them up to get rid of them. Now-a-days more people use blowers to get control of the leaves than rakes.  I have been very lucky with the two homes I have owned because the wind has been my natural rake, blowing the leaves either into the field beside the property or down the street to some other poor bastard’s yard.  Putting up Halloween decorations is a practice session to putting up the more abundant Christmas decorations, which I always start the day after Thanksgiving.  It is still fall on that day.  My oldest daughter, who is now a college freshman, has always been my helper, the other two are useless for this job.

And fall means Christmas is coming.  Santa is ramping up production.  The elves are real busy and there are more and more toy and other “holiday” adds on TV.  It is still Christmas shopping to me even if the PC Police don’t like that.

As November turns to December, in addition to gearing up the Christmas shopping, you can look out on a Saturday during a College Football game and see cloudy skies that look foreboding and make you think of snow and still colder temps.  A cup of hot chocolate and some popcorn might be good about then.