What I miss most about “home in Illinois” is Fall.
It is marked by the turn of the crops and the maple trees flashing their riot of color. Fall means farm equipment moving about in preparation for harvest. Fall is long sleeve mornings that turn to t-shirt afternoons. Wagons and combines move from field to field. Lights glimmer in the fields, late into the night, as the harvest pace holds steady. Farm wives hold supper or carry it to the field. Farmers no longer tarry at the café for lunch. Parts lines are long and sometimes short-fused. Hurry is in the air and you can smell fall as the crops being to fill the wagons. Drivers wave as they sit in the elevator lines. Fall means happiness when things are dry and breezy and nerves when the rain is endless or the wind is mighty.
Fall in Illinois is piles of leaves of every crayon color. Fall is mounds of snap, crackle and pop, raked and raked and raked to be scattered by kids and winds, in a burst of delight, during cool weekend afternoons. Fall is sitting on the steps or rocking on the porch in the early evenings.
Fall starts when the high school band spends practice hours outside before or after school. Fall is homecoming and festivals, parades and hot dogs and marshmallows and pumpkins and bales of straw and roasting sticks. Fall is the last few tomatoes, crisp red apples and piping hot chocolate. Fall is football and bundling up to watch the game.
Fall is all I love about home and my heart is there come harvest season.
The last two mornings in Georgia have been cooler – it’s a sign to start missing my Illinois Fall days