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December 15th, 2017

The Best of Fall!

By G. E. Shuman

Someone told me recently that the warm weather we’ve had here in the North this fall confused the trees so that they didn’t give us a very pretty foliage season. I agree that it’s been unusually warm here; I just don’t know about the second half of his statement. I’m not really comfortable with the idea that trees can get confused. If so, I hope they can’t get mad. They’re all bigger than us. Besides, I thought this foliage season has been quite pretty enough.

I do love this beautiful time of year, for several reasons. One is that the cool dry air is perfect for me. My sweat glands have been working overtime for six months and deserve a break. The gorgeous leaves, crisp apples and big orange pumpkins of New England always convince me that it’s time to let summertime go.

Although I’m not a big fan of winter, the changing seasons are still great. I’ve written in the past about getting our old house ‘tucked in’ for the winter-wonderland months. I don’t like the cold, but do like the idea of being snug, and safe and sound in our big old home. I don’t even mind the early darkness that fall brings. By the time evening comes, this time of year, I’m ready for it. As I make my way to the recliner I might say something like: “Oh gee, I can’t do that yard work I promised to do this evening Hon, it’s already dark. Maybe tomorrow will be better.” (Like tomorrow evening it’s not going to get dark.)

What I like best about this sweatshirt-and-sneaker season really is my favorite fall holiday; Thanksgiving. I’ve loved Halloween since I was a child, whether or not that day is actually a holiday, but there’s something about Thanksgiving that is just the best. Firstly, it has never been quite as over-commercialized as nearly all of the other holidays. (Think Christmas.) True, the food stores promote turkeys, pumpkin pie, and other things, but Thanksgiving has never become one of what I call the ‘sugar and plastic’ holidays. (Think Halloween and Easter.) And Thanksgiving has a lot of meaning for my family, (not that Easter doesn’t.)

Thanksgiving, for some great reason, has stayed pretty much the same for our family, for all the years that I can remember. It’s a time of our family gathering together, as many of us as possible, around a huge and very traditional feast. I can almost feel the warmth of the kitchen and smell that incomparable roasting-turkey aroma right now. It is also a time when our family truly takes stock of what we have, in our own way. We, for years, went around the table before the feast and each family member, including the little ones, would remind all the rest of us of something they were thankful for.

Not everyone reading this column would agree with the ‘who’ that our family is thankful to, as we give thanks to God for all that He has provided for us. If that’s not your position, thank the people you are with on Thanksgiving Day, for all that they have done for you.

I’m a collector of bumper sticker sayings. My favorite is one I spotted on a car years ago, and I have made a point to remember it. The sticker simply stated: ‘GRATITUDE IS THE BEST THERAPY.’ I love that, and I believe it. Be grateful for this beautiful season, and be thankful for Thanksgiving.

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