Fall has finally arrived
After a few balmy weeks it's
finally cold, cloudy, and damp.
While perfectly suitable weather
for October, one must admit it's
rather depressing. Whatever
happened to those bright, crisp
autumnal days of my youth?
Has global warming ruined fall?
As a boy we traveled every
October to the Pioneer Valley
in western Massachusetts for
my Father's Train Meet. An
avid "Live Steamer", Dad and
cohorts would gather to ride
their tiny steam locomotives
around a little track in a field.
There is no doubt that Ethel loved Howard, and more than anything this weekend was a gesture of her true devotion. Given she had absolutely nothing in common with the other wives, most quickly realized that her preference was to deny their very existence.
Throughout life, my Mother's
rational for snobbery was that
she was "shy". One can safely
assume that few fell for such a
a ridiculous ruse. Especially
after viewing Ethel gliding
through that train club facility.
She acknowledged the ladies
at large, but had no intention
of fraternizing with any of them.
On the hunt
After one obligatory ride around the track on Dad's train, Mother and I roamed the charming countryside. Rather than hang with the hoi polloi, Ethel preferred to immerse herself in autumnal activities. That meant hunting for antiques, "Indian Corn", pumpkins, and gourds.
There was one time when even
Ethel didn't mind mixing with
the masses. That was the annual
Pioneer Valley Live Steam Fall
Banquet. Held at a nearby church
hall, all of the food was cooked
by the locals. Simple, fresh, and
bountiful, it was a feast! From
butternut squash, to homemade
mashed potatoes drowned in
butter, to roast turkey or pork,
to the grand finale, fresh berry
cobbler or warm apple pie!
Rake it in
While I know my Mother never
enjoyed anything to do with my
father's steam fetish or friends,
I relished every single one of
these annual autumnal escapes.
Not only did she make her
hubby happy, she also created
wonderful fall memories that
I will cherish all life long.