Sunday, October 12, 2014

The season of fall

Fall has yet to come to Oregon. Our seasons are very moderate and fall often lasts until Thanksgiving. The leaves still hold their summer green and cling to the trees. Attire runs from shorts to jeans. (Those not eager to give up summer and those ready for fall.) This is a time of the year that I truly miss Neff Road, the sights, the smells, the flavor of the season.

The Pumpkin Show herald in the coming of fall as we tossed confetti and walked the streets of Bradford all night long, looking for likely targets. The parade, the bands playing, the chicken grilled at the end of the street. Huge pumpkins lined up for judging. Yes, indeed, fall had arrived with the Pumpkin Show. The entrance of fall.

We didn't raise pumpkins. In fact, I don't ever remember having a pumpkin on the farm let alone one that was carved. Mom usually made lots of pumpkin pies, but as far as I was concerned when I was a kid, pumpkin always came from a can....a can named Libby. Fresh eggs from the hen house and a can of evaporated milk that always sat on the shelf in the fruit room. Hm. Wonder if it had an expiration date? Mom rolled out the crust and made her girls little cinnamon roll ups out of the left over dough. Nope. Never saw a pumpkin back that lane on Neff Road, but sure did put away the fresh baked pumpkin pie brought to us by Libby's and Mom. The taste of fall.

The old mulberry tree in the circle of our yard dropped a cajillion leaves. Dad raked them, and I loaded them into the bushel basket. From there they were carried to the lane where Dad lined them up then burned them. The smell of fall.

Fall was the quiet time on the farm. Corn was on its way to the crib. Tobacco was ripening in the shed. The sheep were woolier, and the cows were ready for a change in diet from grass to hay. A season of change. We didn't have corn mazes back then. Dad would cringe at the thought of losing any of his corn for such frivolity. In fact, he often talked about kids knocking over the corn shocks that the farmers had worked so hard to pull together. Crops were a farmer's life and livelihood. Fall. The silence of fall.

My sisters were off to college in the Fall. The house was quieter. I was lonelier. The mulberry tree was cut down, so leaf raking was really boring. Mom and Dad didn't have the youth group, so there were no more hayrides. Fall was a time of change. Sometimes for the better. With two sisters gone, I got more pie. The season of fall.

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