Caterpillars, colored leaves and football
With the passing of Labor Day, we know that fall is approaching. With fall comes many changes.
Caterpillars, in their furry little coats, can be seen out wiggling around. When my kids were young, one of the highlights of the season was to go hunting for the fuzzy worms. There was always a good colony of them down our lane. They used to beg to go down the lane often, each with his or her own jar, to transport any of the caterpillars they spotted. There were never any arguments over or pulling apart of any of the worms because there always seemed to be enough of them.
I recall one time, daughter Marissa had snuck up ahead of me and when I finally caught up with her she had a half a jar of the squiggly things. That was gross! It looked like appetizers for a Fear Factor episode.
For a child, that hunting is as big a thrill as what a sportsman gets during a hunt for ducks, deer and whatever else he would like to see hanging on his wall. Instead of mounting the little worms on the wall, kids place them in jars to never see them again - they either die in there, escape from the foil-covering or spin the silky cocoon around them, to hide, I suppose. I don't think any butterflies ever emerged from my kids' jars.
And fall means falling leaves. Growing up, we had three large maple trees in our yard. The big deal was to have all the kids in the neighborhood come over and rake leaves - again and again - as we enjoyed jumping in them. And at the end of the day, we'd burn leaves and roast hot dogs on marshmallows on old sticks we found laying in the yard. One of the neighbors had oodles of apple trees in her yard and we often roasted those over the fire as well. MMMM!
I can still smell the smells of hot dogs cooked in the leaves giving off the toxic fumes!
Fall also means all the wonderful colors. My kids and I used to make trips to the Spring Lake Park in Cherokee to admire the reds, oranges and yellows of the leaves. When our walk around the mile track was completed, we would have plucked about as many leaves as a single tree sheds. The kids liked to bring the leaves home.
By the next day, the leaves were always dried up, which meant another trip around the park was planned.
Another thing I like about fall is putting away the capris and tees and getting out the baggy sweaters and sweatshirts to hide under.
There is one other thing that fall brings that I am not excited about - football.
Oh, the men in my household are in seventh heaven when this season rolls around. As long as us girls keep them fed and watered during their games, we're alright. We have learned never to talk to them during the games or for goodness sake, walk in front of them, putting up a split-second barrier between them and the television. (What is the difference? Replays are made on every single move the players make.)
And if it's something important we need to say, forget it, unless we can catch them on the way to the bathroom during a commercial. It is a good time, however, to share bad news like, "Honey, I backed the car into a pole" because they aren't listening. Make sure you also add, "You're not mad are you?" which again would go into one ear and not even stop to be thrown into the computer before coming out the other ear. (Make sure he answers, "No" to your question and record it so once the game is over you can play it back so he knows he really said something like that for something like that!)
If the "home" team is defeated, we've learned not to talk to the boys for several hours later, giving them time to absorb the loss before they think about anything else.
I've never understood the rules of football even though I have two sons playing on the Aurelia Bulldog teams I really should make an effort to learn what it's all about. In the past, it's always been a time for eating popcorn and cheering when a Bulldog crossed the line. I'm sure there must be a lot more to the game than that!