Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

October 15, 2012

I love the fall

By Gelene Simpson
Corsicana Daily Sun

— When October ushers in the fall colors and there is a touch of chill in the air, I go back in my mind to memories of my mother and father. They were both born in the month of October, Daddy in 1903 and Mother in 1906.

A big pile of pumpkins at a vegetable stand along the roadside and racks of Halloween costumes with matching masks in department stores are unmistakable signs of an exciting time for youngsters as well as the young at heart. Be sure to notice the Corsicana Visitors Center.

Hay stacking up in fields and barns assures farmers of some winter forage for the animals, although it may not be enough to set all minds at ease. We can only hope that heavy rains have not spawned another crop of heavy-duty mosquitoes that will threaten the blood supply on the farm front. That last batch left a trail of anemia in its wake. Many people narrowly missed driving into a tree or at least running off the road because of slapping and swatting at those voracious villains.

The winds have at various times given us a respite from these onslaughts. Nevertheless, we must remember how quickly these pests descended upon us before and not take our freedom from persecution for granted.

Football and sweater weather stirs up desire for steaming coffee, tea, or hot chocolate whether in cups at the coffee shop or in a thermos at the game. Popcorn and roasted wieners and marshmallows along with vegetable soup and chili and crackers come to mind as top choices on the menu.

The long ride home from an out-of-town game can be full of chatter and memories recalled from highpoints in the game — that long bomb thrown out of desperation to an almost impossible conclusion, the spectacular run down the sideline, or the field goal yielding the three valuable points needed to win. But nothing is more glum than the mood conjured up by a goose egg on the home side of the scoreboard.

Some grandparents I know can be even more involved in their grandchildren’s athletic ventures than they were with those of their own children. Wearing the huge pins bearing the pictures of their grandchild, these super fans are faithfully in the bleachers yelling at the top of their lungs for that grandkid to make that first down or march that pattern with grand precision while tooting that horn or beating that drum with a flourish or leading a cheer for a “Touchdown! Touchdown!” or swinging up to the top of a human pyramid with daredevil confidence.

Over the years, excitement seems to build so that everything seems more dramatic and spectacular. Have you noticed that even the mums for Homecoming are larger and larger over the years and the ribbon streamers are longer and longer so that a person has to be careful not to trip over them. And those memories of bygone days with school friends become rosier and more cherished as their numbers thin out and class reunions reveal the changes that time has wrought.

When I pass the buildings in Corsicana where I spent my high school years, it takes me back in my memory to the days when I walked those halls and practiced on the piano that stood at the foot of the stage in the auditorium. I remember the cheerleaders leading the pep rally in the gym. And most of all I remember the graduation ceremony as if it was yesterday.

Yes, indeed, the cooler weather brings with it some nostalgic tendencies, but it also turns up the volume on future expectations. It is a pleasure to see the young people of the little towns of Texas become even more adept at their athletics and more accomplished at their music and drama. This is as it should be. The past must be a stepping stone for the future. Let’s look forward as our high school seniors finish their final year and go on to bigger and better things. We need their energy and forward-looking ideas to keep us up with the times.

      —————

Gelene Simpson is a Daily Sun columnist. Her column appears on Tuesdays. Want to “Soundoff” on this column? Email: soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com