To Autumn, with love

22 Sep


Dear Autumn,

I just wanted take a moment to welcome you back!

Don’t tell the other seasons, but you are my favorite. I think summer already suspects how I feel–possibly because I spent most of July and August. whining, “Damn, I hate Summer!” but who can be certain?

It wasn’t always like this. When I was a child; I am pretty sure I loved summer best.

Summer was that special season when school was out and there were trips to the beach to be taken–and of course, day camp and swimming lessons and such–which I now realize were just busy work adults invented because, well, school was out and who wants a child underfoot all day everyday? No one in my family, that’s for sure.

I have such fond memories of day camp…

Once, when I was maybe 8 or 9 years old,  I got an ear infection from all that swimming and had to miss camp for a day or two.

When I returned to camp, the counselors had drained the pool because, the day before, an errant turd had been found floating in the pool. One of the campers was suspected…(don’t look at me, I was out sick that day and all I can say is, thank God for ear infections!)

No one would admit to being the guilty party (and this was before DNA testing was a thing) so they  punished all of the campers by making us spend that whole day cleaning the pool.

Then, one time, on the last day of camp, we had a sleep over and the next morning they gave us Krispy Kreme donuts for breakfast!

Then a school bus picked us up to take us to a rendezvous point where we would be reclaimed by our designated grown-up. It was a short trip, but I got car sick and threw up all over myself.

A perfectly good Krispy Kreme, lost…

Ah, memories…I remember a time when I would feel a certain sadness as summer was drawing to a close.

No more day camp, no more swimming with the turds or throwing up on the bus–though, thank goodness, Krispy Kreme is forever.

Then there was the cold hard fact that the start of school loomed large…

That’s where you came in, autumn. I might not have not liked you quite as much because of that whole school starting thing– but despite that, even as a kid, I still found a lot of things to love about you.

Like school supplies–no matter how lukewarm I may have felt about going back to school, I loved the annual ritual of shopping for new pens; notebooks and notebook paper.

Then their were the lunch boxes—don’t get me started on the metal lunch boxes! Seriously–Don’t!

OK, if you insist…

When I was about to enter the first grade, I wanted a Mary Poppins lunch box and my mother, as kindly as she could, warned me that might not be the best choice of a  lunch box…for a boy.

She opined that, were I to take this particular lunch box to school, the other children might make fun of me.

Say what?

I had not attended kindergarten and had no older siblings at home, so this whole “children might make fun of me” thing was a fresh new hell I was suddenly forced to consider for the first time.

I was also shaken to the core by the notion that there could such a thing as a gender-appropriate lunch box.

How were such things decided?

I was very confused.

If only I had thought to say, “But Mother, Mary Poppins was one of the top grossing films of 1964! It was no My Fair Lady, but it did win 5 Academy Awards!”

I bet my mom wouldn’t have worried about her little man sporting a Mary Poppins lunch box then!

But I didn’t think to say that at the time, and so my mother guided me toward what I assumed were lunch boxes for Boys.

I don’t really remember much after that. All I know is, I wound up with a metal lunch box with a red plaid design. Generic plaid with a matching thermos.

Of course that was back when the thermos that came with every child’s lunch box was constructed with a glass coated interior. Dropping the thermos, or some other unforeseen impact would cause the glass inside to break.

Sure, deny me the lunch box of my dreams, but don’t fret for a second about the possibility of me consuming deadly shards of glass with my grape Kool-Aid.

Anyway, autumn–I did enjoy the school supplies.

Another really cool thing about the coming of autumn when I was a kid, was the new Fall TV Schedule! We only had 4 channels then (if you counted PBS) so, getting a whole bunch of new shows to watch was very important at that time. There was no internet, so watching TV was pretty much the only things Americans had to do back then.

So, the release of the Fall Season TV Guide was one of the high points of autumn, if not the entire year. That was back when the TV Guide included local TV listings and was much smaller–but the New Fall Season edition still packed a powerful punch.

Also, of course, I have always loved Halloween and Thanksgiving. Thank you for those, autumn. Nice work!

Nowadays, since I have to pay my own electric bill and the summers just seem to get hotter and hotter, I find myself spending all of summer pining for you. Since that Jaws movie came out, no sane person goes to the beach anymore. And swimming pools lost their allure for me after that unfortunate turd incident.

So much for summer. Now I am all about you, autumn!

Nowadays, I don’t care so much about the new Fall TV Season since we have the internet and about a million cable channels, so it is humanly impossible to keep up. But I do love your cooler temperatures and I still love Halloween and Thanksgiving.

And of course, I still love the school supplies. I still love the huge displays of pens and paper and notebooks–ah, the notebooks…

So, welcome back, autumn! Feel free to linger as long as you’d like!

It’s no wonder I love you best!


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