I DO LOVE THE change of seasons. Arkansas is a great place to experience them.
We’ve got definite changes each year. Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall, Football and Oaklawn.
I met a guy who moved back to Arkansas from Hawaii. He said dancing girls in grass skirts were nice but he missed the change of seasons.
While I think I could become accustomed to year-round salty breezes and warm temperatures and girls in grass skirts, I admit that the change of seasons is an astonishing thing.
WINTER. We get 1.5 snowfalls each year. Usually, snow doesn’t hang around for more than a day or two. Arkansas drivers are really, really good when roads get icy.
Once every 10 years or so, snow gets deep enough so that it sloshes in over the tops of your shoes.
When the food on grocery store shelves gets close to the expiration date, grocery store owners promote snowstorm panics.
In Winter, I catch every ‘bug’ that comes around even though I no longer have a child living at home who can bring me every drug-resistant bug known to man.
Some area schools close early if there’s a reliable report that someone in Oklahoma has seen a snowflake. Some area schools don’t close even if they have to call out dogsleds to take the children home from unheated buildings.
In Winter, my allergies flare up.
SPRING. It appears suddenly in March although there are still some very cold days ahead and we all get to worry about the peaches.
But trees along country roads begin sprouting green fuzz. And then the pines release tons of pollen. In Spring, real cold rainstorms coincide with every local track meet and baseball game. There is an Easter Egg hunt at the city park in which there are no real eggs.
In Spring, my allergies flare up.
Other than that — and tornadoes — there’s not much to say about Spring.
OAKLAWN. Sometime between the middle of Winter and the middle of Spring, there is a season we call Oaklawn. It is also sometimes called Racing Season and it happens only in Hot Springs. I go once every four or five years whether I want to or not. Oaklawn gives me a chance to unburden myself of some $2 bills.
In Oaklawn, my allergies flare up. Maybe I’m allergic to horses.
SUMMER. It comes along about the same time I stop sneezing from Spring allergies. Summer is great except for ticks and skeeters and houseflies. Yeah, I’ve got allergies in Summer, too. I think it has something to do with grass and other things blooming, and the dust that swoops in every time the County Judge declares a burn ban because it hasn’t rained since Oaklawn. Also in Summer, there are lots of J-Turn violations in downtown Nashville because our fair city does not have a lawfully deputized J-Turn Enforcement Officer but that’s another story and I’m sure you wouldn’t be interested.
In Summer, my allergies flare up.
FOOTBALL. It happens between the sweaty end of late Summer and early Winter hot chocolate. It is a great season unless you follow the Razorbacks. It can be really great if the Outlaws, Rattlers, Hornets and Scrappers are winning.
In Football, my allergies flare up every time a Razorback opponent throws another 80-yard touchdown pass — which is often. Also, in Football, there are no longer majorettes who twirl fire batons to thrill the crowds that have not left their seats to go get hot chocolate during the band’s halftime show.
It just occurred to me that majorettes who twirl fire batons should never wear grass skirts.
FALL. It slips in almost unnoticed after the end of Summer. You’d never know it by changes in temperature. Really, about the only way you can tell it’s Fall is when it has so obviously become Winter that no one can deny that the season has changed. In Fall in Arkansas, you can wear a T-shirt one day, and need a heated parka the next, same as in Winter. Fall lasts well until into Winter.
In Fall, my allergies flare up. Ragweed, and dust from the leftover burn bans.
And then, if you’re lucky, it’s time for Winter, again.
THE TWINS. The tasty, yet healthy twins — Sweet ‘N Low. They make practically everything better with no extra calories.
THINGS I LEARNED from opening email: A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class because it was a weapon of math disruption.
HE SAID: “I’ve been writing poems since I was in the Navy — to Rosalynn. I found I could say things in poems that I never could in prose. Deeper, more personal things. I could write a poem about my mother that I could never tell my mother. Or feelings about being on a submarine that I would have been too embarrassed to share with fellow submariners.” Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the US
SHE SAID: “It’s been proven by quite a few studies that plants are good for our psychological development. If you green an area, the rate of crime goes down. Torture victims begin to recover when they spend time outside in a garden with flowers. So we need them, in some deep psychological sense, which I don’t suppose anybody really understands yet.” Baroness Jane Goodall, primatologist
SWEET DREAMS, Baby