Autumn, or fall as most folks call it, is the favorite change of seasons around our house. We don’t have central air. After melting all summer, we can finally begin to sleep again at night and wake with energy to enjoy the cooler autumn days. Another autumn benefit – lower humidity. Drier air brings clearer night skies providing for excellent stargazing just in time to catch the last days of the bright stars that form the Summer Triangle; Vega in the constellation Lyra, Deneb in the constellation Cygnus, and Altair in the constellation Aquila.
In Southern California, we didn’t really celebrate autumn like folks do back here. Maybe that’s because, for the most part, autumn felt pretty much like summer except with a couple of rainy days – maybe. The only way we knew it wasn’t August anymore was school started again and the mall decorated for Christmas! In the Midwest and Eastern U.S., fall is an event! There are fall festivals at almost every church and in most of the smaller, quainter towns. Children dress up like Wooly Bear Caterpillars or Monarch Butterflies and parade through village streets while onlookers enjoy hot apple cider and pumpkin spice flavored EVERYTHING! (I hope the Facebook photo of pumpkin spice Doritos was a joke!) High school football, a religion in itself, moves from the practice fields to the football stadiums full of marching bands, cheer squads and color coded fans locked in rabid rivalry.
Autumn is a time of beginnings and endings. Chrysanthemums bloom and tomato plants die with the first frost. The last tomatoes are picked and placed on the windowsills to ripen, the plants are yanked and cold crops are sown in their place. Folks close their pools and open their fireplaces. The hot rods and motorcycles go into the garage and the “winter cars” come out. T-shirts go into storage and my beloved sweaters and plaid flannel shirts come out; yes – even my “ugly” sweater! The Brig Niagara sheds her sails and buttons into her winter cover in Erie Harbor and the ice boats are readied. Until our big freezer died, I had a personal fall ritual; Forbush’s apple dumplings. Just before Forbush’s would close in September, I used to buy a dozen or so unheated dumplings with little containers of their caramel sauce and stick them in the freezer. That way, I could ration them out all winter and keep myself from going into withdrawal!
It’s only September and I already miss chasing fireflies with my daughter. But leaf fights, owl calling and corn mazes are just around the corner. I’m already searching for the perfect pumpkins to carve for my “John 3:16” porch marquee this Halloween. Fall is when I enjoy sitting with a beer back by my fire pit at staring up into Heaven. Speaking of Heaven, autumn is when many of our vacationing members return home to First Presbyterian Church and we welcome them back with our annual Chili Cook-Off. Small group Bible studies pick-up again and we begin to plan for our awesome Christmas music!
Baseball is getting REALLY exciting. My camera gear is ready for my autumn photography treks. A ‘Blood Super Moon” will dazzle us over September’s last weekend and my rake is at the ready as I wait for the coming brilliant, colorful show nature has in store for us. I believe I’m falling for autumn again!
© 2015 Curt Savage Media