All the Halloween decorations are all packed up. Thanksgiving is right around the corner. The lawnmower is all cleaned up and put away for the winter. Yup, fall is here.
In my part of the county, November is the month when the big changes happen. This week is the peak week for the fall foliage. The hardwood trees are ablaze with oranges, reds and yellows accentuating the evergreens. On my way to work or the radio stations in the mornings, I pass through neighborhoods that are primarily hardwoods. They are almost breathtaking in the morning sun. The tower site for one of my radio stations is located in the middle of a hardwood stand in the Harbison State Forest. The dirt road is surrounded by gold and orange making transmitter inspections a real pleasure. The sites for my other two stations are on the roofs of tall buildings downtown, it always takes a little longer there because I have to stop and admire the fall tapestry of tree lined streets, crisp blue skies and bright sunshine that I am fortunate to see every week.
The trees in my yard are mainly pine trees with a few crepe myrtles and dogwoods for accent. This year, we have not had as big a pine needle fall as we have had in other years. I think that is a result of the drought this summer. Mind you, I am not complaining, it is nice not to have to rake as much as usual, especially this year after my knee surgery. The tea olives in my back yard were more fragrant this year than they were in the past. That unique perfume is a true harbinger of fall. There is one tree that has been confused the past couple of years. The tulip tree is supposed to bloom in early spring but this year, again has blossomed in the fall. I wish it wouldn't do that and save all its blossoms for the spring when they are needed more.
I am still adjusting to the changes that come along with the end of daylight savings time. When I leave the office, it is already twilight and I have to turn the lights on as I drive home. It is some consolation that we are more than two - thirds through the part of the year when the days are getting shorter. In a month and a half they will be getting longer again. Somehow that doesn’t seem right, but I like it.
My boyhood home was also on a pine studded lot. The needles on those trees in Florida were much longer than the ones on the trees here. The jury is still out on whether or not that makes them easier to rake. But we used to braid those longer needles into decorations that made up part of fall wreaths. Sometimes we made small baskets out of them too. I think Mom taught us how just to give us something to do quietly indoors as it got colder outside.
We didn't start hibernating until after Christmas. It was warm enough to be outside playing. Of course the sport of choice was football. There was always a pick up team playing on the playground of Lake Shore Middle School, a few blocks away. Sometimes it was tag and sometimes it was tackle. But all the time it was fun. I can't help but think of all the boys that played football on that field over the years. I discovered a couple of years ago that Tim Tebow, the Heisman Trophy winner from the University of Florida, played football on that same field as a youth too. It is comforting to know that with all the changes in this world, that place, hallowed in our memories, still brings joy and happiness to boys and girls. I wonder if Tim thinks of that shared place as he prepares for his Bronco's games out in Denver. Oh MY!