Loving Fall Weather; Anticipating Holidays

Loving Fall Weather; Anticipating Holidays

Colors and crispness of fall set the stage for holiday season of Thanksgiving and Christmas

I have to admit that, aside from the fact that it’s election season, fall is my favorite time of the year.

I love the cooling temperatures, the beautiful colors, the crispness of the air, the long twilights and the knowledge that my absolute favorite holiday of the year, Christmas, is approaching.

GREAT DAY: Grandkids Jaime, Michele, Lewis and Geneva climb a tree at Sedgwick County Park. We wanted photos; they wanted to play. It worked out great

I think of Halloween as the end of summer and the beginning of the holiday season that ends with New Year’s. In that sense, I’ve never resented the “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas” that seems to bug so many people. I think of “holidays” as encompassing Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and anything else you want to throw in, kind a giant, all-embracing season of good will, good food and gift giving.

I also appreciate the days ahead of the first really nasty weather of the year, coming up next week if forecasts are right, because of the awesome foliage of fall and the photo opps that the turning leaves present.

I’m blessed with a whole  bunch of photogenic grandkids and capturing the passing years as they grow from babies to young adults – yep, the oldest really will turn 14 in a few months – has  become a delight among the gorgeous colors of fall.

The past couple of weeks have seen the fall colors go from just emerging to full spell. This week, the cottonwoods hit the peak of golden glory. Many of the Bradford Pears are just beginning to turn red. The maples are red to golden depending on variety. The oaks in Sedgwick County Park were gold tipped with crimson last week.

BOYS AT PLAY: Dylan, 3 and brother, Jackson, 7, think trees are for climbing and exploring

I was beginning to wonder if the cottonwood in my back yard was ever going to turn colors until almost overnight it went from green to gold. One maple is totally golden; my maple sapling started early with red and gold and the oldest maple in the yard is just beginning to turn.

My youngest grandson, Dylan, is 3. He says he wants his brother, Jackson, who is 7 to teach him about “leaf bombing” which was apparently quite a discussion during Halloween events. So far, very few leaves are actually on the ground and I have  feeling that “leaf bombing” requires copious amounts of leaves. With any luck, the cold snap forecast for next week will give way, as it often does in southern Kansas, to two or three weeks of glorious “Indian Summer” with piles of leaves on the ground and mild afternoons – perfect for putting up the lights and decorations in time to throw the switch the day after Thanksgiving.

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