Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Wednesday September 21, 2005 The last day of summer

The last day of summer.

It was nice while it lasted, but school has started and football is upon us and it's now time for the leaves to turn. We're getting our last gasp of hot summer weather and I'm looking forward to cooler weather. Fall has pleasant memories for me. I remember the rustle of leaves and the rekindling of school friendships after the leisure of summer. It was time to learn new facts and to grow just a bit older in a higher grade in school. I remember the smell of burning leaves in the gutters along our block. Everyone would rake their leaves into big piles at the curb and then burn them under a watchful eye. We kids loved to jump into the piles of leaves. The colors of autumn were bright and I loved to watch the leaves float to the ground. It seemed that the sky was bright and clear in autumn – you could look up through the brightly colored leaves to see a brilliant blue sky above. In our neighborhood, we played touch football in the street (not much daytime traffic then on the side streets). You could only get 2 or 3 players on each team so you didn't need much room. It seemed that we walked to and from school in large groups. The older kids hung out together but looked out for the younger ones. Grade school was only 5 block away, so I could walk home for lunch. Fall wasn't very stressful. It was a time of harvest – apples and pumpkins and the last of the tomatos. After a summer of heat (no air conditioning back then), the cooler weather was welcome. There were more pleasant smells coming from the kitchen (with the heat gone, you could once more bake and can).
Vacations were over and everyone seemed ready to buckle down to another season of study and work. It was nice to enjoy the autumn evenings (not so hot and before you had to close up everything for winter). Looking forward to Halloween and Thanksgiving and eventually Christmas – but that's a long, long time from now.

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