From Christina: I want to thank Ashley for sharing her thoughts about autumn. She grew up not far from where I live, so many of my fall memories are very much the same. I’ve jumped in the leaves, skipped rocks over the water, and felt that same exhilarating coolness in the air. And Ashley, I have photos of a few parks in Kansas where I’ve spent time with my family. I’m always happy to share, so whenever you want to look back on your childhood days, maybe between the two of us we can find that park your remember.
It’s That Time of Year
by Ashley Nemer
It’s that time of year, when the leaves start changing colors slowly and then begin to fall to the ground. I’m sure we all have those fun memories of fall and early winter when it’s the perfect temperature to play out in the afternoon sun as a child. Raking up the leaves and putting them into a large pile and diving into it.
For me, this season always meant new beginnings. When I was in grade school I lived in Kansas. The seasons were vastly different than those I experience in Houston, Texas. For one, there are actual distinct seasons that last longer than a week. That’s probably the only thing consistent in Texas during fall / winter / spring – if you have issues with the weather, don’t worry, it will change next week.
But in Kansas, fall represented school starting, weather cooling and fun beginning. My mom’s house was on this huge acre of land. Okay okay, it was huge to a nine year old, whether or not it was actually “huge” I suppose is debatable. Anyway…My brother and I were tasks with raking the leaves. As you can imagine that was a huge job for two “youngins”. Except, we always had a blast. We would spend all day outside raking leaves and diving into the piles of them.
Until that one pile had a snake. Shivers – that had to be one of the worst times. I remember I was riding my bike, gaining momentum so when I jumped off of it I would fly into the pile. Thank God I looked down before I jumped and saw that deadly snake waiting for me. (What a nine year old girl thinks is deadly.) In all reality it was probably a little garden snake but no, to a young Ashley it was as deadly as a python and as ugly as a rattler. I rode my bike back to the front door screaming. I grabbed my brother and told him he was never allowed to go outside again.
Looking back – I was definitely one for the theatrics I think. But my memories aren’t all snake-infested. I remember when we lived in Kansas City; we had our two dogs Louise and Sammy. They were sisters, beagles. We all went to a park in the fall. The leaves had just started to fall and the weather had taken a turn for the colder side. We were playing Frisby and catch. Frisby for the humans, catch for the dogs. I learned how to skip rocks on a lake that day. Maybe I should say I attempted to learn because I doubt I would have any success doing that now.
I remember my mom. Her hair flowing in the wind. The sun-kissed blonde strands, her smile, the way she laughed when I pushed my brother into the lake. Yeah, autumn always meant changes for me and that was good. I miss the actual seasons of the year. Houston has two, Hot and Very Hot!
Maybe one day I’ll make it back to Kansas and I can find that park again. Or maybe I’ll just look at photos and smile, remembering times when things were less complicated and life was simply there for enjoying.