Feeling nostaligic today. I’m sure I can write a longer list of things I don’t miss about fall in Ohio (the overcast sky, the cold, the seasonal closing of A&W and Dairy Queen…).
But fall has always been my favorite season in Ohio, just as springtime takes the pennant for beauty and splendor here in Atlanta. So, in honor of my favorite season where I’m not, I’m writing this: the top 5 things I miss about Ohio in the fall:
5. Catching Woolybears, stroking them until they uncurl from their brown and black balls, and having them wiggle around on my hands. The most temporary of pets, and lousy weather forecasters. I grew up watching Cleveland weatherman Dick Goddard attending the annual Woolybear Festival in Vermillion, Ohio year after year….
4. Speaking of Festivals, I miss the Balloon-A-Fair in Ravenna, particularly the Parade and the Hot Air Ballon Liftoff. This is actually held in September, which in my Georgian weather clock is still summer, but in Ohio, this was a nippy weekend of fair food, arts and crafts, and seeing my friends march down Ravenna’s Main Street from our Middle School Prinicipal’s front yard.
3. For as long as I live, the scent and flavor of fall will always be Apple. I remember getting fresh-pressed apple cider at McConnell’s orchard for 10¢ a dixie cup, usually on the same trip to pick out our Halloween pumpkins for jack-o-lanterns… and my wheat-free diet screams for the taste of fresh, warm apple fritters….
2. Football season in Ohio is a social event. Whether it’s Friday night home games at the high school, college ball, or professional, everyone has a team to root for… The most avid football fans I meet in GA are not Falcons fans. They are Steelers fans or Browns fans. They are Ohio State Buckeyes or U of M fans. … There is no fervor, no frenzy, no…. energy… behind football season in Atlanta.
1. The #1 thing I miss about fall in Ohio is that brief and dazzling display of fall foliage. In Georgia, trees turn two or three at a time, sprinkle their leaves a little, politely taking turns. Because there are so many pine trees, it appears to stay green here year-round, which makes fall not only unremarkable, but… kind of pointless.
In Ohio, all of the trees change at once. There are two brilliant weeks in October where everything is blazing with color. Red, orange and yellow leaves canopy lawns, roads and forest paths. Everywhere you go, you see cool shades of green come alive in burning warm colors.
Of course, this also means that the process is very fast. By November 1, everyone had to rake waist-high piles of leaves (jump, scatter, rake, repeat.) and the grey fingers of bare branches scratch at the overcast sky for the rest of the winter to come…
It’s transient, but, by God, it’s glorious.