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Monday, September 19, 2011


I have a love-hate relationship with autumn.  Or fall.  Whatever your preference in vocabulary makes me no difference. We don't use the term autumn around these parts.  It sounds so formal.  I think of it as an Eastern United States word instead of a West Texas southern word.  It's a "pretty" word--one that I can imagine using if I lived in Vermont where the leaves blanket the road like a beautiful patchwork quilt.  Our leaves are brown unless you are one of the few and far fortunate ones harboring an oak tree.  Around here we don't rake the leaves into a pile. We don't have to. You won't find any leave laden country roads either.  First, we hardly have any trees to speak of.  Secondly, the leaves we do have just turn brown and the wind blows them off to unknown parts of the world.  The leaves I have blowing around in my yard are from Tucumari, NM. Western Oklahoma gets my leaves...

 I LOVE the cooler air.  I love being able to go outside and not sweat. I love not having to put on a double dose of deodorant because the little dab from the morning hours doesn't quite cut it after your body temperatures reaches the melting point. I love the fact that the cooler breezes really act as an air conditioning unit instead of a miserable furnace blast in 100 degree heat. I love knowing that winter will soon be on its way and the flies will die.  I love not having to mow as often (although this year our mowing effects have been minuscule due to our extreme drought, so really, that point is moot.) I've never really been a summer lover.  I don't like to garden; I've tried the whole flower garden thing too.  I found no pleasure in watering it every day and picking those pesky little weeds from it.  Half of the time I found I couldn't differentiate between the baby plant and a weed any way. I cannot relate to those of you who live to tend to your gardens every year.   Any thing green outside my house is due largely impart to my oldest daughter.  She reminds me to water things. I thought I would enjoy the gardening lifestyle.  I was brought up on it.  My mother had huge vegetable gardens and huge flower beds.  So did my grandmother. I figured it had to be encrusted in my DNA. I'm here to tell you that the whole green thumb thing is known to skip a generation.  When we bought our first house, I made Doug plow up the entire side of one fence so I could have a flower garden.  Three years later my tribute to the Audubon Society and the such had been whittled to a 2 x 3 foot square area.  By year five I was scattering wild flower seeds and calling it good.  I hate having dirt under my fingernails.  I cannot begin to tell you how much I hate it.  And I'm one of these who can count on one hand how many professional manicures I've had in my life time.  I'm not a foo-foo girl, so I don't know where that trait comes from.  Anyway... fall brings football. I love high school football games--the sounds of the band, the math teacher turned Friday night announcer...maybe it's because my husband is an ex high school football coach... I love not having to turn on neither my home's air conditioning or heater and thus saving muchas dollars.  I love homemade applesauce.

Then on the other hand...

Autumn (aka fall) brings the flies indoors.  They know that winter is coming--that they will soon meet their demise with the first hard freeze and they are anxiously trying to avoid the death trap by nesting in my house.  I have killed 13 of them so far this morning.  I hate flies.  Our cat Mickey starts "beefing up" for the winter.  He is such a lush.  He starts putting on weight in September and keeps his Garfield physique throughout the winter.  Around May he starts slimming down and turns back into a lean, mean tomcatin' machine.

Fall also means critters are coming out.  Soon our evening air will be filled with the aromatic skunk.  I've never seen one out here, but you know they've been around.  Utterly disgusting.  And let us not forget the tarantulas.  My girls play with them. I act like think these oversized, hairy arachnids are cool, but they are not.  I wrote about my girls playing with them here

Fall also means the end of summer and hours of playing outside for my children.  That equates to a little peace and quiet for Mom.  I am so thankful that they like playing outside.  Freezing winter temps will put an end to that.  I'm not sure how Andrei is going to handle that.  He loves to go outside.  About 11:00 every day he is asking for his shoes and pointing to the back door.  If he doesn't stay out long enough to suit him, he breaks down into a temper tantrum upon entering the house.  Our winters will challenge all that he holds near and dear.  Pray for me.


Trisha said...

It's true, Autumn is New England's time to shine. We are from Boston, and there is nothing better than a hike on a cool fall day through trees blazing red, yellow, and orange. Kansas must be a mix between Texas and Massachusetts. Fall is still great, just not as great as it once was.

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