December 9, 2009

Tales by Triplett – A Farewell to Autumn

Triplett,PatrickBy Patrick Triplett

“We at 50+ are pleased to welcome Patrick Triplett to our literary
contributors. Triplett has lived in Iowa his entire life. He was born in Clinton, moved to Bettendorf, and now resides with his wife in Davenport. He is the father of three sons and has three grandchildren.

He has worked in the computer industry for most of his career, while writing hundreds of short stories, poems, and articles as a hobby. He plans to devote more time writing as a career.

Patrick has completed his first full-length book, “Turning 60 – Prematurely,” which is currently being published and is due out soon. Thus far he has had two of his works published: A poem entitled First day of School and an article entitled It’s Never Too Late.

This month we will publish two of his works. The one below is about his favorite season – Autumn. The other, is a male’s perspective into buying that special Christmas gift.

There are four distinct seasons of the year in the Midwest. Winter, which is often harsh and bone chilling cold and consists of scrapping windshields, shoveling snow, and sliding and slipping on ice. Spring, which is somewhat kinder, yet produces its share of violent weather, with tornadoes, hail, and thunderstorms strong enough to send us seeking shelter in our basements. Summer, which often provides stifling temperatures and humidity, not to mention the swarming, pesky insects that drive us indoors to the safety and comfort of air conditioning. And then there is autumn.

Nestled between summer’s heat and winter’s chill, autumn is truly a refreshing gift. With its radiant colors, breath-taking sunsets, and golden harvest moons, it is nature’s work of art. The very word “autumn” suggests tranquility. It is wrapped in warmth and gentle days, and clean, crisp nights. There are no flies or mosquitoes to chase away, allowing being outdoors and lighting a bonfire the perfect way to spend an evening. No coats, gloves, or stocking caps are needed. A light sweater or jacket will usually do.

Autumn days have a special feel to them, a feeling of freshness, with the warmth of the sun, combined with the soft breezes to ward off the humidity, making it a glorious time just to be alive. It’s a time to cherish and embrace. It’s a time of tossing footballs in the air, and gathering for tailgate parties before and after games or simply hopping in the car and going for a scenic ride. And in the days before the ban, the smell of burning leaves in the distance added to the wonderment and flavor of fall.

I have always preferred the word autumn to fall. The origin of fall suggests leaves falling off trees and dying on the ground, signaling the beginning of the end of autumn. But at its peak, during that precious window of time between mid-September and early November, there is nothing like it. It is to be treasured, and every moment enjoyed to its fullest. It is carving pumpkins, roasting marshmallows over an open fire, and telling ghost stories as the trick or treaters don their costumes and prepare for a joyous and hopefully profitable evening. It is going for long walks along paths lined with brilliant colored trees without breaking a sweat. It is simply sitting out on the back porch and watching the sun set amid the blue-gray and purple skies.

As with everything in life, all good things must come to an end. Eventually the golden leaves wither and turn brown, and rakes and leaf blowers take the place of lawn mowers. The warm days begin to turn chilly and cold, and bring thoughts of having to tune up the snow blower as another season takes its place and leaves the beauty of autumn behind.

But the good news is that there will be another autumn, and another after that. And as we scrape our windows and shovel the ice and snow off our walks and driveways, we have not only the memories of a grand time of year, but the knowledge that it will return someday.