Monday, September 8, 2014

Fall Bawl...by Gina Waite

Fall…a most beautiful time of year!   It’s as if the earth tries one more time to be as lovely as possible before completely being buried beneath the monochromatic hues of winter.  Leaves turn to different colors or display the deeper hues that lack of chlorophyll, brings.  The sun, as it changes the arc which it passes through the sky, seems to shade more and cast direct rays, less.  As the days grow shorter, and the nights grow longer, the grass seems to regenerate itself and thrive in the much cooler temperatures.   It’s a time of great beauty and harvest…and fall happens to be my Mother’s birth month and her favorite time of the year!

The “f” in fall represents “football.”  A sport that kicks off in fall with much ado!  My Mom joined the ranks of those who enjoy watching young men battling it out on a grassy field whilst carrying a prolate spheroid-shaped ball!  …And as much as I knew my mother loved football, I didn't realize the level of fan-hood she could achieve as when she moved close to the “smurf-turf” and became an honorary Boise State Bronco!  In my Mother’s beautiful backyard, there stood a stone, rectangle monument with a statement she held most dear…”You’re in Bronco Country!”  …And don’t you forget it, while at my Mom’s house, we ALWAYS knew that we had better…R-E-S-P-E-C-T…her Bronco Boys! 


The “a” in fall represents “apples.”  A season known for canning, fall produces the best apples!  While growing up I remember how the house would smell of the harvested fruits.  As my parents were concerned with provident living and having food for a rainy day…we had an entire orchard of apples.  The bruised apples were feed to the horses, but the good ones we’d pick, box and store for winter.   My Mom would also extract the liquid and make the BEST apple jam and apple butter I've ever tasted.  One smell I will never forget is that of boxes and boxes of apples AND the canning kitchen ripe with extracted apple juice!

The “l” in fall represents “leaves.”  Those brightly colored fallen leaves that we would shuffle our feet through as children!  The same ones we would love to rake into piles so we could run and jump into…all while my mother watched on in delight.  I have a specific memory of my mom…involving leaves.  She loved her beautiful tree out behind her house.  She would stand in the bedroom overlooking this tree just to admire the brilliant colored fall leaves.  We caught her there, more than once, gazing from the window respecting the change of the seasons.


The last “l” in fall represents “love.”  My mom loved the holidays that fall ushered in: Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  The effort and tradition that she expended on behalf of each was remarkable and something that each of her children admire and try, in their own way, to carry on!  Halloween’s were full of family-oriented spook alley fun!  Thanksgiving memories filled with delicious food, family and fun-filled Christmas tree expeditions!  Christmas…there was never a happier, more fulfilled, gift-giver than my own, dear mother! 
     

Fall...a season which represents some of the BEST memories I have of my mother…one of my favorites being the last time I got to see her before her passing.  We had just finished a lovely girl’s weekend together and I couldn't contain the appreciation and love I had for my mom.  As we were just about to part and travel to our separate locations, I was honestly filled with complete admiration for the woman she was!  I reached out to embrace her and started to cry. Looking back now it was as if I knew it may be our last exchange!  With that sweet embrace, I kissed her on the cheek and we each walked to our respective cars and smiled at each other while the tears flowed down our cheeks…AND the tears continued to flow for the hours it took me to get back home…giving new meaning to fall bawl!    As William Cullen Bryant has said of the fall, it represents “the year's last, loveliest smile and gift."  So true, Mr. Bryant…the last fall exchange…a most beautiful gift!

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