THOUGHTS ON AUTUMN AND THANKSGIVING TURKEYS

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August 24, 2010 by Judith Liebaert

Sigh . . . summer is drawing to it’s end in my neck of the woods and while I need the two or three months of temperatures above 74-degrees to thaw my winter frozen bones, fall is truly my favorite season.

It is also the shortest season and I would gladly sacrifice a month at the end of summer and at least three months at the beginning of winter to make it the longest season of the year. You have to understand, I’m not talking calendar seasons.

The calendar tells me that the first day of winter is December 21st. Maybe somewhere, but in the far north tundra of Wisconsin, by the time we get to December 21st we’ve been shoveling the white stuff for at least a month. The winter coats, hats, gloves and mittens come out of the closet long before that – ‘round about mid September. Oh sure, we get a random day, maybe even two, scattered throughout September, October and November where a sweater is cozy enough for a sunny afternoon. But for the most part it’s cold.

With our hardwood, deciduous forests the landscape blazes with color that can be matched by only a few other regions in our country. If we could just keep the leaves on the trees until after thanksgiving, I’d be much more thankful.

Our lives don’t just mirror nature, they are nature. The seasons of our lives run about the same as the seasons outside my window, with middle age – my autumn — just a transition turning over to a long, cold winter. Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad for that lengthy winter of life expectancy and I look forward to a time for rest. But just as I’d rather sit on my back deck admiring the fire of maple leaves, like flames licking the wind, instead of shoveling that same deck off so it doesn’t bow beneath the weight of two tons of snow, Id’ also like to enjoy my life’s rest in the warmth of long, lingering autumn years.

I’m contemplating packing up the home-on-wheels and following autumn around the country like snowbirds follow summer. I can only imagine the foothill areas of more southern states like Tennessee and Kentucky stay warm well up to Thanksgiving. I’d take a Virginia ham smoked to perfection in our little kettle grill over an oven roasted turkey any day. Throw in some yams and Vadalia onions along with cornbread in the cast iron skillet and you’ve got yourself a real feast.

Unfortunately my current academic status prevents any autumnal vagabonding on my part. But if there are any friends out there who want to invite me for Thanksgiving southern style, I have a couple of frequent flyers the hubby and I need to use up.  I’d be happy to do the cooking.

. . . . . . mid

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