Monday, October 22, 2007

The First Norther

I love the fall and today we had our first real norther of the season. I awoke to yellow skies that soon turned gray as the rain begin to fall in a slow drizzle. Before long the southerly winds shifted to northerly, the rains begin to fall heavier and the winds begin to blow the cool air over us.
When I was a kid, this time of year meant Trick or Treating, Fall Festivals, hog killing and hunting season. It meant Thanksgiving, wonderful food and Christmas, along with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins I loved, but never got to spend enough time with.
Wood smoke, cracklin's and freshly baked sweet potatoes on a 40 degree day bring back pleasant memories.
The lazy afternoons: too cold to go out and play while Momma had her nap, I'd stay in my room and day dream for hours until I, too, would fall asleep.
As I grow older I think my best memories are the simple ones...The smells of Pappaw's smokehouse the day after he killed hogs; the feel of the cold on my face as my brother, Jim, and I rode my old horse, Star, through our pine sapling trails and ate cold biscuits for our picnic; tagging along with my younger brothers, Jim & Nathan, as they hunted squirrels and hoped for something larger; running outside to look up into the skies and find that first flock of geese heading south for the winter; day dreaming in my room on cold Saturday & Sunday afternoons because there was nothing else to do...How blessed I was then, and how very blessed I am now to have these precious memories.
But more than memories, I was blessed to have a home where I was safe and comfortable and warm and free to day dream on cold, lazy weekend afternoons.
I'll never smell Pappaw's smokehouse again, nor will Jim and I ever find a horse strong enough to carry both of us down any trails anywhere, and I doubt I'll ever tag along behind he and Nathan as they hunt squirrel, but I can go out and scan the skies for the geese heading south and I can still find times to daydream...and if I'm lucky, I might even sneak a nap in...As the first norther of the season rolls in...My old friend has returned.

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