Hammertime: It’s fall, enjoy it and have fun

Whatever the fall weather, be it snow or fall temperatures, there are opportunities to enjoy it

Mike Rainone

Hammertime

I can still faintly remember way back when I was just a little lad growing up in Ponoka in the early 1950s and usually asking lots of silly questions, especially about the weather.

In those days most kids always looked forward to playing in the leaves, watching the big combines working in the fields, starting a new grade in school, and actually looking forward to winter, which would eventually mean lots of skating, sliding, and playing on the ice and snow.

In those early days we were settling into our first home and making new friends and neighbours in this very friendly town, and they always told us ne

ver to worry about the early arrival of an Alberta winter, because we can hopefully look forward to a glorious stretch of balmy autumn weather that way back then they fondly referred to as an Indian Summer. We could hardly wait to see that annual weather phenomena happen, and on some of those countless fall flings I remember that there were days when we got to play outside without snow boots and parkas until way into November, but that was never guaranteed, as old man winter would always invade without warning. Whatever happens this time around we should always enjoy sharing each other’s traditional and favourite memories, adventures, and joys of this amazing and unpredictable season of the fall, complete with those magnificent northern lights and always a delightful nip in the air.

• As the days get shorter the nights get longer but the bugs go away, and how nice it is to snuggle up together around the fireplace in the evening with hot chocolate and heaping bowls of popcorn while enjoying all the new shows on television. This is also a great time to get out and gather some wood, chop chop, and fill up the old wood shed, and let’s not forget to mark a date on the fridge calendar and make an appointment to put o

n our winter tires and get our vehicles ready for the icy shock of winter.

• Autumn is the only season where we have to dress up in woollies, parkas, and boots in the morning and then can dress down in the afternoon for an invigorating walk or jog or maybe even a final game of golf or a fun session of raking and bagging a whole bunch of leaves with the rest of the family. For the children it can also be the ideal conditions for creating a snow-man or fort before dinner, and then watch it all melt away in the afternoon after a really good slush-ball battle.

• This time of the year is a thrilling time for sports participants and fans of all ages. The ‘boys of September’ will soon be playing in the World Series of baseball, basketball and hockey has started, and the Grey Cup might just be played in a blizzard up at Commonwealth Stadium. A lot of great sports and recreation activities will soon move inside, what with all sorts of hockey and figure skating at the arena complex, school sports, and all the rest. The curling fanatics will soon rock-em and sock- em out on the local rinks, while others will be curled up on the couch watching the pros strut their stuff all over the world. Warm and fuzzy indoor winter events will also include all sorts of games, exercises, and hobbies, along with lots of concerts and family attractions for all occasions.

• While we always hope that everyone will have a bountiful harvest, the great ladies of the house have preserved and stored away lots of fresh fruits and veggies, only to be brought out on special occasions throughout the winter. All of us, especially as kids will always remember that other neat tasks of September include digging potatoes, picking peas, and raiding gardens, just in time for Thanksgiving, which also means the first big family feast of turkey and all the trimmings.

• There is no doubt that some of our ice-fishing fanatics will already be out in the garage getting their fancy huts and equipment ready to hit the frozen ponds, while those avid local hunters are planning their annual trek into the wilderness in hope of filling their tags as well as their freezers.

• As the days get a little cooler our snow-birds will be looking forward to heading south, while many others will likely sneak away in mid-winter for some fun in the sand and sun. Dare I say that most of our veteran ‘super shoppers’ are already browsing through the flyers and shops in search of the hot buys and bargains for warm and woolly winter wear, Halloween, and of course Christmas, which is only 89 days away.

We all know that the coming of winter is for sure, whenever it may be, but let’s just dig in, stay warm, pick the activities of our choice, and share the fun with everyone. Get ready for a warm and windy October, and have a great week, all of you.

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