Monday, October 18, 2021

Fall is Here

A Chill is in the Air

And I like it. I like it a lot. 

I like the chill in the morning where I keep my coffee warm like this. 

Fall was always my favorite season ever since I was a kid ... not exactly sure why really. 

I like the chill in the air, wearing jackets and sweatshirts, and not feeling hot and sweaty everytime you go outside. I like the way morning frost puts a layer of white on top of the green grass. 

I like October and watching the World Series, a tradition I started in 1967 with the Cardinals and Red Sox.

But most of all I like the sounds and smells of fall. 

These are some of my strongest memories from my childhood ... falling leaves and the way they crunch when you walk on them, the way they smell when you burn them ... 

I can clearly recall in my mind being at my Grandma Jackson’s house with my mom when I was very young — probably 6-7 years old. 

The neighbors had all raked their leaves into piles in the street and one Saturday night everyone came out to the curb and burned them and roasted marshmallows and talked. 

I don’t remember much about it except watching the leaves burn and smelling that beautiful smell, and even today, that smell instantly brings this visual memory back with great clarity.

They say smells trigger our strongest memories because they have the strongest connection to emotions, and for me this is probably the strongest such connection:  the smell of burning leaves and that one night from many many years ago.

Another reason for the strength of this emotional connection for me, I’m sure, is that I always liked going to her house because my Uncle Bill lived there — he was was just a kid too, only a few years older than me, more like an older brother really — and we always had great fun together. 

Of course nobody born after 1970 or so has such memories since we legislated away childhood memories connecting anything pleasant with the smell of burning leaves. Smart move.