On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Published in the Rains County Leader on September 29, 2022:

Sometimes it’s difficult to recognize the change of seasons in a climate that is either hot or cold with a few days of slightly milder weather in between. However, the calendar indicated that Fall began on September 22 this year, so I began looking for signs of the new season. Here are a few that I noticed – in no particular order.

Last week we spent four days in Arkansas with my brother Jim and sister-in-law JoLynn. I have visited them a number of time during the Christmas holidays, so I know that they go all out when it comes to decorations. They always have several trees which might include any or all of these: a Santa tree, an angel tree, a train tree, and several others. JoLynn also has an extensive collection of Nativity scenes, some of which are displayed year round but most of which make an appearance in December. Either we had never visited this time of year, or I have not been very observant, but I had never seen the large collection of pumpkins and fall arrangements that graced their home. It made us all feel very festive – except for my older brother who complained about how stiff and sore he was after eleven trips to the attic to bring down the boxes.

Decorations are changing locally as well. The seasonal tree at the Senior Center has shed it summer flip-flops, sunglasses, and watermelon in preparation for pink ribbons and other pink reminders of October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

To some people, the most important thing about Fall is all things pumpkin spice – lattes, candles and other fragrance items, bakery items, and more. It’s hard to find out for sure if it will be available this season but Blue Bell even has Spiced Pumpkin Pecan ice cream in its rotational flavors.

Other people turn their noses up at pumpkin spice in favor of a more savory taste – chili! It’s the time of year when over-sized cooking pots and secret recipes come out of storage as every church and civic organization announces the dates of their annual chili cook-off. If time and energy are in short supply, some of us just open a can of Wolf Brand Chili and some saltine crackers – and if the thermometer fails to cooperate, we just turn the thermostat down a few degrees.

Another change that happens regardless of the temperature is the shift in wardrobes. Bright primary colors and cool pastels give way to warmer yellows and oranges of fall foliage. Sleeves and pants get longer, and toenails disappear into real shoes.

Of course, temperatures do change in the South as we approach the holidays. True, we don’t get the cold fronts of some of the northern states, but temperatures drop below 100 during the day and below 80 at night.

Rains County experienced another sign of the new season last week when the County Fair came to town. The excitement of livestock shows and auctions and beauty pageants, even without the hint of a chill in the air, feels like Fall because that’s what September is like in Texas. And if you need more cotton candy and corny dogs to shake the last vestiges of Summer out of you, the Texas State Fair begins September 30.

On a smaller scale, Fall brings craft fairs and mini markets where you can shop for Christmas gifts, decor, and goodies as well as other handmade and repurposed creations. If you’re looking for something to do on one of these hopefully cooler weekends, check out Pumpkins and Pawprints from 9 am to 2 pm on Saturday, October 8 at Lone Oak High School; LCN Mini Market from 9 am to 5 pm on Saturday, November 12 at Emory City Centre; and Christmas around the Square from 10 am to 9 pm on Saturday, December 3 on the Emory Courthouse Square – just to name a few.

Portrait of a boy holding a football

There is one sign of Fall that can be described in just three words: football, football, football. Football widows or widowers use this time to catch up on their readings or begin working on their creative arts projects for next year’s Fair.

Last but not least, I saw the most obvious sign of the changing seasons when David and I made a quick turn through Walmart while we were in Arkansas. The KIA turned over 68,000 miles on the drive there, so we had some time to kill while the oil was being changed. Across the aisle from the Health and Beauty section was the first Christmas display I had seen this year.

So, how do you greet the last few months of the year? Are you ready to hang the tinsel and holly right now, do you continue to grill every weekend until the snow begins to cover your burgers, or are you somewhere in between? Regardless of your approach, I pray that you will find a way to make every day a good day. 

Blessings,

Linda

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Comments on: "Fall has arrived | by Linda Brendle" (2)

  1. Gloria Moore said:

    I went to Hobby Lobby yesterday for no particular reason. I picked up a small fall sprig and turned to face Christmas. I decided I wanted to face a season of gratitude and walked away to explore other areas.

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