It happens every year. About Memorial Day I think, I have the entire summer to enjoy with all of its sunshine and outdoor activities. No more hearing the rumbling furnace and dreading the gas company bill; BW and I throw off the shackles of winter and plot our course to marinate in summer.
Then suddenly it seems that summer sneaks out the back door and there is a rapping on the front door. It is Jack Frost a.k.a. fall gently asking to come in. "No, I protest I want summer to stay longer."
It does no good to deny him entrance. He stands waiting in the yard occasionally peering in the window. Then one day his patience exhausted he strides to the door, opens it and comes inside without asking.
As summer winds down heat and humidity lessen, corn and beans are harvested, gardens yield their fruit, orchards produce apples and trees outdo themselves competing for attention. Maple trees put on their reddest garments with leaves as bright as the reddest cardinal birds. Other maples and paw paw trees ring the hills in their amarillo, yellow garments as tempting as the most luscious golden delicious apples. Sassafras and sumac trees wear their combination red, orange, yellow and brown robes to the "colorama."
Just when it seems they can't get any more beautiful, the sun turns on its spotlight and the colors become more brilliant than it seems possible. No artist can duplicate that color cornucopia. Fall then pulls a slick one. One day the leaves begin to lose their brilliance and their grip and float leisurely to the ground. At times they float and flit like a butterfly then with the assistance of the wind they swirl and swarm like huge snow flakes filling the air with the last splashes and splatters of color of the season. They pile up on the ground transforming lawns and woodlands into multi-colored carpets that signal the end of summer.
The smell of burning leaves is carried on the breath of the wind and brings back pleasant memories of my youth when it seems more people elected burning as a way to cope with the dunes of rustling harbingers of winter. Smoke would drift down the streets and through the trees announcing the change of the seasons.
Then it happens. On an evening as crisp as the best dill pickle the sun slips behind the horizon and I feel it. Cool air settles perceptibly on my shoulders caressing my neck with coolness like a water mist fan at the state fair. I can touch the air and breath in its coolness as it musses my hair, rustles my clothes and a sweater feels good. It is autumn. So I don my hooded sweatshirt to prevent Jack Frost from slipping his icy fingers on the back of my neck and revel as fall falls upon me. Glorious Fall. One of my four favorite seasons.
Larry grew up north of Calvertville on a farm and graduated from Worthington High School. He lives in Plainfield and can be reached at Goosecrick@aol.com or (317) 839-7656. Write him at 6860 Sunrise Drive, Plainfield, Ind., 46168. He has written five books.