If I didn’t know it otherwise, I’d surely know it was autumn when Steve and Sharon Wooten put their pumpkins out. They live on a big curve between Cairo and Thomasville and have a very visible nice big yard. Every fall they make a marvelous display of pumpkins arranged in bountiful piles, some in old pickup trucks, some on the ground, pumpkins everywhere!
Yes, it’s autumn in south Georgia! We don’t experience the dramatic seasonal changes as our northern neighbors do, but it’s unquestionably autumn all the same.
Even in south Georgia some deciduous trees are taking on hues of gold, crimson, and pomegranate. We have a five-year-old ghinko tree that is coming into its own this fall displaying beautiful gold fan shaped leaves. The Indonesian cherry tree is not satisfied with only one color, so puts forth varying shades of pomegranate, gold, and almost red amongst green leaves still hanging on. Later the Japanese maples will become our brightest trees as they turn to their luscious red.
Along the roadways goldenrods brighten the landscape. You may hate goldenrods for the allergy reaction they and the accompanying ragweed cause. But you have to admit they are beautiful. Just enjoy them outside. Don’t put them on your dining table as a centerpiece. On a country ride you may see fields of white cotton, a cloud of dust surrounding moving machinery as farmers harvest peanuts, and huge round bales of hay spaced so neatly in plowed fields like so many loaves of bread set out to cool. Chrysanthemums make splashes of color on porches and patios–gold and rusty red are my favorites, and I do love the scent also!
The children are trying to decide what they want to be for Halloween. Charli thinks she’ll be an angel, maybe even have wings. Kaison is considering being some demon-like character with a bloody knife. I told him please not to play with the devil’s tools. When he began drawing a picture of a monster I said why not draw a person dressed in the armor of God. We looked up Ephesians 6:14-17 and he followed my suggestion. Painstakingly, piece by piece, he added armor to his picture of a boy: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the helmet of salvation, etc. Later, I was cooking when Kaison ambled into the kitchen and asked what I was doing. I told him I was making deviled eggs. “Nana!” he exclaimed, “you said not to play with the devil’s tools.”
Political signs are planted on many street corners and country crossings. Charles not only puts the signs out (with some difficulty since often the ground is incredibly hard) but goes back regularly to see if they’re still there. If one has been removed he replaces it. I used to be so bored by politics. Now I know elections are of utmost importance and political news and analyses no longer put me to sleep (most of the time!). We are subject to losing our freedom of speech, our parental rights, our security, our freedom of religion, even our right to life. We must be informed and we must vote!
The scents of autumn are enticing and invigorating: apples stewing, cotton candy at the fair, barbecue at a family gathering, disturbed chrysanthemums, freshly raked leaves, pumpkin spice cappuccino at the coffee shop, crayons and pencil erasers, and huge pots of boiled peanuts steaming at open markets.
The moon rides high. I hear in the distance the drumbeats of our Syrupmaker band performing at a Friday night football game. As Canada geese fly over I thank the Lord for the change of seasons, for pumpkins on the doorstep, for colored leaves, for little boys with rich wisdom, for wonderful blue October sky, and for one last lonely blue bloom on the hydrangea bush.