Wednesday, September 3, 2014

I Remember Autumn ..

The Autumn Leaves
Autumn is (almost) here. What a wonderful time of the year!

Temperatures drop at night, making sleep more comfortable and the days turn cooler and less humid.

Leaves cover the ground in varying shades and those that can, will be nearly nude again, even here in Florida.

This time of year I get pleasantly caught up in all of the things I love most about fall.

As a child, I loved the leaves. I remember building houses and forts, then playing hide-and-seek in the noisy piles that had been the walls.  But what I remember most was the pungent scent as they burned after daddy raked and then ceremoniously lit the piles with a match -- something the powers-that-be sadly don't allow these days.

There was apple picking at the orchard and choosing the perfect pumpkins for carving, and drinking apple cider from little paper cups while you waited for mom, or dad, to pay for your special finds.

My Hometown County Fair
And who can forget the county fair? In my hometown, small as it was, they even closed school for an entire week because of the fair.

I loved going on the rides, playing the games on both sides of the midway, and (ugh) the animal barns with the hold-your-nose smell of manure that followed you everywhere, all day long.

I'll never forget the sweet smell of cotton candy and I loved watching the guy behind the glass as he turned the white paper cone around and around along the edge of the silver vat and, miraculously, the cotton candy slowly grew on the paper cone into a huge pastel cloud -- and you just had to have some.

My favorite fair treat was the thick, long french fries you squirted vinegar on and ate with your fingers. Those fries to this day are my yardstick for measuring a really tasty french fry.

The coup de gras of autumn was always the haunted house, which was set up in one of the barns after the fair was over.  Ghosts! Werewolves! Dracula hiding in a closed coffin that suddenly popped open, just as you walked by!

Monsters in the Haunted House
Every autumn, I counted the days until the haunted house would open.

I remember walking through the doorway, my adrenalin pumping, heart racing, and my mind silently screaming ...

"Go ahead, scare me! Scare the living daylight right out of me!"

... and it always did.

“A writer soon learns that easy to read is hard to write.” ~CJ Heck

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