Perhaps a jacket for Dad is in order this week

By TIM BEELAND,

Fall may have “officially” arrived on September 23rd, but the record breaking high temperatures last week leave little doubt that the first day of autumn is nothing more than another date on the calendar.

Thursday, or maybe it was Friday, I took my dad for a ride from his house in Newton to our house in Sebastopol and we both noticed that the trees, in lieu of changing colors this year, appeared to be just dropping their dry, crackling leaves, to the ground due to the lack of rain and the intense heat.

He sat on the front porch swing while I fed the dogs and watered the plants as a hot, dusty breeze engulfed the place. He seemed comfortable in the warm surroundings, likely because I’ve had his airconditioner turned down low the last week and the blood thinners he takes keep him with a chill most all the time, but at one point, I do believe, even he commented on how hot it is this season.

I get hot just thinking about getting hot and my feet are the worst so as I wandered around the yard barefooted the dry grass and fallen leaves crunched loudly and I thought to myself “even the grass is gone!”

We returned to Sebastopol on Saturday to pick up  my wife, Danny, and looped through Forest on the return trip to Newton. About the time we  hit the four-way stop on Hillsboro and Martin Luther King Drive mysterious droplets began to cover the windshield as glorious rain began to fall.

It was only raining in Forest, though, and as we headed to Newton it seemed that with every mile we covered in our eastward journey the slower the rainfall became. Before we made it to the city limits sign the windshield wipers were shut off and the airconditioning got notched back down.

Back at Dad’s house we’d sit outside on the patio a little bit and warm up and head back to the comfort of the living room to cool down, and with every trip a swarm of summer flies tried to beat us through the kitchen door. I despise flies. I especially despise flies in the heat.

Sunday morning before church I pulled out the leaf blower for what had to be the seventh day in a row and cleared the carport, patio and drive of the previous nights crunchy covering. Moments after I put the blower away  a light breeze wafted though the hot air and the pecans, and oaks and that darn magnolia let go of another load of debris.

By the time we returned home from First Baptist Church Newton, where a grand celebration was held honoring the pastor’s last day in the pulpit, the blower was needed again, but we decided that could be an option for another day.

“Now don’t think I’m crazy,” my dad said to me more than once, “if you see me out front picking up those magnolia leaves with my poker, and then another blast of hot air hit us heavy in  the face and he commented that he thought he might just save that task for the cool of the next morning. Sure enough he did, and sure enough I saw him out there but didn’t think him crazy at all.

All weekend long, it seems, the weather prognosticators were prognosticating that a “cold front” was on the way and Monday morning as I poured my coffee and began to begin my day, the nice lady on the television news pointed to Carthage and points beyond and assured us that those folks up there had started their day in a nicer way. Cold? There should be a better name for this type weather front, I think.

At this writing it was indeed a bit cooler, but I’m not certain that a jacket is needed just yet. Well, perhaps one for Dad is in order.