It’s October in the Ouachitas, and not a moment too soon. Summer wasn’t all that bad, really. We had a lot more rain than usual, and only the expected number of really hot days. But Autumn in Arkansas. Now THAT is why we all love living here. Can I get a Woo Pig for that? So, because I am in a festive and frivolous mood, here’s what I am most looking forward to in the weeks ahead:
Fairs: Our county already had theirs, and we enjoyed it with two of our grands this year. However- one past memory of that same fair came to mind as I smelled the funnel cakes and tripped over the power cords in the midway. When hubby and I were first dating, I informed him that I loved carnivals, but the whirly rides, like tea-cups and tilt-a-whirls had never worked for me. They triggered my motion sickness in quite drastic fashion. “Oh come on, scaredy cat.” Or something to that effect. Well, I decided there was only one way to prove it to him. So, with an unfortunate tag along friend, we boarded a ride that whirled and rose into the air, and went round and round, and .. . . about halfway through, my supper came up all over them. Point well taken. He never forced me onto a ride again.
Festivals: Our hometown has a really fabulous one on the town square. I’ll wager that wherever you are, you can find one too. Folks with various talents and products set up booths, and there is always a lot of activity to fill a fall day. One year, I was in the Ouachita Life booth telling stories every hour on the hour. Hubby had to find a way to stay busy, so he entered contests. One, in particular didn’t seem to be getting a lot of entries. So, he bought 5 or 10 chances, and guaranteed that we would win. As everyone was cleaning up at the end of the day, we were among a very small crowd listening for the winner to be drawn. He proudly stepped forward before his name was completely out of the announcer’s mouth, and we took home a brand new television! That is probably my very favorite “I told you so.”
Fundraisers: Because of the usually beautiful weather, many groups schedule events to attract attention to their causes, and raise some necessary operating capital in the bargain. A crisp fall morning is the perfect time to don a long-sleeved t-shirt and sturdy running shoes and walk through the streets of our favorite nearby big city. Though officially a race, there are very few if any who have winning on their mind. It’s the camaraderie, the shared concern for others that keeps us tromping across the bridges and past the tall buildings. Of course, dancing fire-fighters are a big plus as well. The thought just occurred to me- I wonder what will happen if the Broadway bridge is out of commission for this year’s Komen Race for the Cure? Hmmm. Recalculating.
Football: Of course! We are fans on every level. Oldest son was in a pee-wee league, and we have great memories of learning the rules and taking some hard knocks, with little siblings playing and cheering on the sidelines. High school games are still the thing to do on Friday nights in our neck of the woods, whether witnessing them in person, or listening to our preacher/play by play man on the radio. Of course, there are the Razorbacks on Saturday. Even our front door is in the spirit this year.
The weekend is always built around what time the Hogs play. And hubby and I are planning a trip to a professional game in November! Don’t forget about the cheerleaders, pep-steppers and bands. One of my favorite memories ever involves looking up into the bleachers to see our percussion section performing their own version of “Devil went down to Georgia” with drumsticks converted to fiddles. Uncommon, for sure. Also, if you have never seen the Bryant Legacy perform what they call Trombone Suicide, you are in for a treat. Go for it kids, one day your energy level will drop drastically!
Family: The common thread here? Besides the frequently found fantastic first letters? Autumn brings back so many good memories. The crispness of the air, the beauty of God’s creation as it winds down and prepares for a rest. The promise of sunshine and cool breezes, and campfires: Oh My. I could go on all day. But, you have places to go, people to see. Turn to the middle of this magazine and find something fun to do with your own family and friends. I firmly believe God sent October to renew our faith and lift our spirits. Enjoy!!!