3 min read

A Last Autumn Tumble

We'll just have to pass the season first before we find out what's in it.
A Last Autumn Tumble

Leaves are a fascinating thing. For example, they tell you many things, including seasonal frames of reference and how much rain has been showing up.

But many of us have that odd cross-eyed cousin that everyone can't quit looking at and whispering about them behind their back. They have a hard time finding the door frame, and one eye is so filled with hot lust for the other that it can't quit staring at it like that creepy dude at the end of the bar.

Dear Texans, we are that cousin.

We're two weeks from Christmas, and I got blood on my shorts from a cut I sustained out of the blue. The cut and the blood have nothing to do with it. I'm in Texas, but it's December. Why in the heck am I wearing shorts in the first place?

Because, child, it was eighty degrees outside. That is about as natural as sugar in cornbread. And only children of the devil put sugar in cornbread. This leads me to the next point: if this mess keeps up, we'll be able to roast a turkey with stuffing outside on the patio in a solar oven on Christmas Day. I don't think this will amuse your momma. You know, tradition and all of that nonsense.

Perhaps a lot of my whining and belly-aching is because I came from a state that actually has four seasons. I ain't saying I want to go back anytime soon; I'm simply pointing out that our season selector here in the Lone Star is a lot like the wheel on Wheel of Fortune. You spin it, and you don't know if you need suntan oil, furs, or a slicker suit. If you hit the black selector, someone has fallen asleep at the power grid wheel or slipped off to Cancun again. Pick one and pray.

I'm still looking at you, jack.

We have one more week of autumn left and don't know exactly how to feel about it. It could be a good thing or a confusing thing. I just know I'm blessed that I don't have to rake anything.

We don't even get the groundhog in February anymore. He just pops his head up and asks who's in office. Not that it would matter much in the grand scheme of things since there's nothing the government could do about the weather anyway. I'm not convinced that would stop them from trying.

I'm not convinced that it would stop them from lying that they could, either.

Texas weather, politicians, and cats high on catnip: You never know what in the hell you're really looking at until they stop moving and changing direction.

Speaking of whirling dervishes, do you still see kids jumping into piles of freshly raked leaves anymore? I don't, and it concerns me much like the reduction in the number of honeybees and Japanese beetles. Some things should be in everyday Americana.

Like children performing Spin-o-Rama moves into a big pile of leaves in a celebration like Mario Andretti winning at Torino.

We do some ridiculous things just to calm ourselves down. It's only fair. They aren't useful for much else than entertainment for a few months, anyway. Leaves need to mulch, rot, and even ferment. Like all those compliments you're about to hear around the Christmas table that everyone will say but nobody will mean as your gift-giving ceremony turns into a narcissistic pissing contest and gaslight emporium.

Where was I?

Oh. Leaves.

You may not be from Texas. It may be cold enough to freeze coffee in mid-air where you're at, and I wouldn't be against you finding yourself at odds with my harried moaning about the fact that we get our winters at all the wrong times, and usually overnight.

You're probably a little mad because in your neck of the woods, Mother Nature is a soccer mom who bakes cakes, doesn't always ask for the manager, doesn't forget your birthday, and generally knows what needs to be done most of the time with a pretty smile.

Here, that song has a different tune.

Here, Momma Natt is blowing cigarette smoke into the backseat while screaming and cussing at the kids, attempting to maintain a lane at twenty miles per hour over the speed limit and trying to remember if she's even on the right damned road to get to that corner store so she can cash in her scratchers for another bottle of vodka.

We'll figure out exactly how autumn ends when she does.