Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Fall is in the air. I am able to recognize this without even looking at a calendar. The piles of firewood in backyards around town, in the back of pickups, and in the case of over-achievers it can be found split and nicely stacked in the wood shed.

As a youngster fall meant several things to me. New school clothes and shoes were coming my way. Let’s not forget the new school supplies. My mom was willing to pop for the big box of Crayons–the 64 pack, and a new loose leaf notebook complete with pen/pencil gizmo that fit inside it. Then there were the pens and pencils. Oh, boy. I remember one of my sons didn’t want a new notebook. He could use "last year’s". I had never heard of such a thing. This was the same boy who didn’t want new shoes for school. His reasoning was that he didn’t want people to think he wanted school to start. Who could argue with that kind of logic? I wonder if kids nowadays get all twittery about a backpack. Probably not. Pens probably aren’t high on the excitement scale, either, what with not having the opportunity to learn cursive.

The start of a new school year in Orofino was quickly followed by one of the year’s biggest events–Clearwater County Fair and Lumberjack Days. It is still a big deal in some respects but now going to the fair has nothing to do with riding the ‘Octopus’ or ‘Tilt-A-Whirl’ or eating Cotton Candy. It’s more about meeting old friends and of course buying a Lumberjack Days t-shirt. Gotta keep those t-shirt numbers up. And of course, THE parade. One of the highlights is the appearance of a group of bagpipers from Trail, B.C.

After the thrill of the start of school and the fair excitement wear off, it was time to look ahead to that really big occasion. Halloween. We had several rules for trick or treating enforced by my mom. We couldn’t start until it was dark. Now days kids go out in broad daylight. What’s scary about that? Another pesky rule of my mom’s – no pillow cases for treat bags. We doubled up brown grocery bags. You guessed it. I allowed my boys to use pillow cases. We were supposed to stay in our own neighborhood. Mom was not thrilled when people broke this unwritten rule and hauled out-of-town kids in to trick-or-treat in "highly" populated areas of town. The nerve of those parents.

I hope this year I can buy Halloween candy and decorations without having to push aside Christmas findings. It doesn’t matter that I don’t need either candy or decorations. We usually have one or two little tricksters. Two 3 pound bags of candy and 4 strings of twinkling orange lights should take care of things.  So if you happen along Halloween night, expect a treat!