The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Columns

August 27, 2012

Krohn: Falling in love - autumn is the season of good feeling

This couldn’t be any better. Fall-like weather settling over us in mid-August.

All the seasons have something to enjoy, but I could take fall for 11 months a year.

Most all adult enjoyment -- and much of the pain, too, I suppose -- stems from childhood memories.

There are a few fond winter memories: sledding, snow forts, hockey, the bliss of thawing the feeling back into toes and fingers by a stove.

Spring: joy winter is finally over, sprawling on the lawn.

Summer recalls long lazy days, fishing, softball.

But the fall is packed full of memories and opportunities.

As the oppressive heat lifts, people rediscover the outdoors. Warm enough during the day, but cool enough at night to allow for a backyard fire.

For those who like hunting, we’re entering the hallowed time of year. Ditto for football junkies.

Even though it’s the beginning of the end for plant life, the bounty is wonderfully overwhelming.

The garden is chock-full of carrots, kohlrabi, tomatoes, eggplant, melons -- and zucchini only slightly smaller than a VW.

The beginning of decay and the crisp air create earthy smells.

Farmers will soon bring in semi loads of golden corn. With the hot, dry summer, the harvest will be earlier than ever this year. The fields will likely be black by mid- to late-October rather than November.

The apple orchards are calling. The Zestar, Honeycrisp and Sweet Tango taste as good as they sound.

Thanks to the explosion of wineries, we can now add the vineyards to the list of fall pilgrimages.

The drought-stunted leaves are already drifting off the trees. Not enough for the piles of leaves for kids to plunge into -- but soon. (Note to kids: a go-cart through a giant leaf pile is way fun; just make sure your sister isn’t in the pile.)

There are too many events in too short a time in the fall -- everything packed in when the weather is best and school hasn’t yet started: the State Fair, Renaissance Festival, grape stomps, fall festivals and Octoberfests.

And while they say spring is for lovers, I suspect many thoughts of first love go back to the cool fall nights at a football game or hay-ride. The touch of a soft sweater. The chill a reason to stay close.  

I suppose part of the allure of fall is that we know what it will give way to. Eleven months of it might make it less special.

But I’d be willing to give it a try.

Tim Krohn is a Free Press staff writer. He can be contacted at 344-6383 or tkrohn@mankatofreepress.com.

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