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by Tamara Hillman

October 2011

I’ll admit; I’m a fool for fall! I love everything about it—beautiful colors, a crisp feeling in the air on sunny afternoons, the smell of burning leaves, warm woolen clothing, and that heavy quilt put back on the bed.

October means big changes in the weather, but it’s also a nice time to settle in after farm chores are finished ‘til spring, crops are gathered, and canned jars of fruit and vegetables line cellar shelves.
Ranchers and farmers alike will still have to feed stock throughout the cold winter months ahead, but the land will take care of itself for a few months while it lays dormant under several feet of snow. Time to ease back in that rockin’ chair (or recliner) and watch ‘Mother Nature’ at work making soil ready for next year’s crop.

Nice time to take a trail ride, or join those ranchers roundin’ up strays, and bringin’ the last of their cattle down from mountains where they left them last spring for summer grazing. Nothin’ like black coffee, fried potatoes with onions, and thick bacon cooked over an open fire in the chill of an October morning. I can smell it now…

Geese fly in V FormationsThose days spent high in the hills in Autumn sure tell of winter comin’ by the sheer activity of wild animals; squirrels scurry about storing nuts for the cold spell, deer are rutting, beaver are building sturdy dens over shallow ponds, bears lumber along with loads of extra fat rolling over their sides before hibernation begins, geese fly overhead in V-formations, and there’s a peaceful calm in just knowing all will rest in cozy dens until spring thaw. Even us humans slow down, and put on an extra layer of fat (bah-humbug) to ward off the icy cold of winter.

And we mustn’t forget this month is a big favorite for those children wishing to celebrate Halloween. I remember the fun I had as a youngster trick or treating all our neighbors. It was always cold with a few flakes of snow in the air as we ran from house to house. With no such thing as masks you could buy at a costume shop, or Walmart, (they didn’t exist in my day,) we usually drew faces on paper sacks with our color crayons, then, cut out eyes and nose to see and breath. Farmer’s wives, and even town-folk, baked goodies for us in those days—no store-bought candy back then! People couldn’t afford to buy a bunch of treats, but they always had flour and sugar, milk and eggs on hand to whip up something yummy in the kitchen. No worry about poisoning kids, or adding razor blades to apples then either—what has this world come to?

This time of year, I remember school football games sitting bundled up with scarves and mittens on cold wooden bleachers as we cheered the home team on. We had settled into the routine of school, new teachers, new classes, and dating our favorite guy or gal by October, so things seemed back to normal in our teen-world. Life was so secure then in just knowing the rules and standards you followed to have a successful future, and enjoy our teenage years. I miss that for my grandkids now…

I get homesick this time of year because we don’t have the beautiful trees changing color in the desert of Arizona where we retired. We’d have to head for high country such as Sedona or Flagstaff to view such beauty.

I long for a quiet walk in October’s crisp air along a river path with tall trees overhead, leaves falling all around me, and even hearing the crunch underfoot of dry leaves. It’s something I always loved, and truly miss now. All the senses were tweaked into activity in the fall on just such a simple stroll. But I realize I have to give up something in order to never shovel snow again where I chose to live out my remaining days.

My advice to all who read this column would be to find a good book, cover your legs with a warm afghan, and set in a comfy chair by the fire ‘til this cold-spell passes.
Granny Tam

And send in your stories and poetry of country life either past or present—I’d love to add them to my Fellow Writers section. No age limit required…

Here are a couple poems to get you in the spirit of another beautiful autumn season.


Harvest Moon

Dawn breaks sunny and crisp.
Geese fly in V formations.
Cool breezes promise change to come.
Chattering squirrels scamper to secret hideaways.
Dusk creeps over shadowy landscapes.
Hints of orange appear on the horizon.
A harvest moon rises gently over distant mountains.
The golden glow challenges the darkness.
A luminous brilliance floods land and sea.
Moonlight engulfs my world in sweet serenity.

Tamara Hillman…….©



Fall Winds

Wind, oh wind, incessant wind,
blowing leaves from where they’ve been
only to scatter them once again.

With Rake In Hand

With rake in hand, I stoop to gather,
reading by hearth—I know I’d rather,
or even listen to TV chatter.

But fall is here, and work is nigh
with energy in short supply
on my sore back I must rely.

Mounding Heap Growing Tall

The mounded heap is growing tall
as suddenly there comes a squall,
and in a flash undoes it all.

I cuss, I stamp, I throw the rake,
hope its broke for gosh-darn sake!
reckon, its time to take a break.

Tamara Hillman...... ©



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