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Time changes: Every season has its own special gifts

by Dorothy Kleindienst, For the Fulton Sun | November 5, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.
Submitted photo: The autumn trees near Bluffton, MO.

Time changes

As I set here this morning, my husband David and I were thinking about how fast things change.

Only a little over a week ago the colors in the leaves were brilliant. They have been more beautiful than in the last couple falls. Sometimes the way the sun shone they seemed to almost glow. Bright oranges, yellows, reds, shades of purples, mixed in sometimes with green cedars or pine trees, that makes everything stand out for a picture. We spend these days doing a lot of riding and awing.

But now today the leaves have turned brown or have fallen.

And last night at sunset David, from his recliner, glanced out our patio door and said, "You better grab your camera!" Since my phone was beside me, I ran with it to the door and took a picture. I came back, showed him, then looked back and it was already fading away.

I think we see, and learn, a lot about our lives in nature as we age. Even from the animals, if we are in tune. The bible tells us that as well. I always tell David that it is funny, but it seems everything I see reminds me of a bible scripture or a song.

We just celebrated our 62nd wedding anniversary. I feel a little tear sneak out as I wonder, how did time go so fast? Our three sons we raised on the farm are all grandpas now. A lot of our dreams have changed, I noticed. We used to take rides and think when we would see an old run-down farmhouse, we should buy that and fix it up. At our age now, we realize we don't have the time left, or energy, to do it anymore.

David and I talk about "the old days" a lot it seems. So much has changed and life is easier, but is it better? I look around this morning, all I must do to get water is just turn on the faucet. I grew up, and even several years after David and I married, I used a rope and bucket to draw water from the well. David's dad was one of the few that had a hand well pump. However, the drawback was that it was at the bottom of the hill. You had to pack the bucket back up the hill! The joke we hear people our age say is, that the only running water we had was if you ran with the bucket.

And I just heard our icemaker in the refrigerator drop ice. David and I both remember how we got ice when we were young. You had places you bought big heavy square chunks of ice to keep in your ice box. We had no electricity. We had electric when we married, but you had to freeze your own ice.

My folks and David's had a wood cook stove. Lot of work splitting the wood fine for it, but the food was great. And our home was heated with wood as well. Now we have the thermostat set on a certain temperature year-round. Warm in winter and cool in summer.

And even after we did get electric and a TV, there were only two channels and you had to get up and manually change stations. Davids's folks and mine have all gone before they got the benefit of a smart TV like our kids got us. We can just ask for any movie or song, and it is there!

As I write I think of so many memories but each one deserves its own space and story. I think about our friend Jim Barton saying, "We gotta go back." He didn't mean to hard times or hard work, although it looks like that may be coming back, but he was talking about the attitudes of people. Family and neighbors enjoyed each other and shared whatever they had.

Somewhere along the space of time things have changed drastically. We never locked our doors back then. In fact, not even at night. We wanted to let the cool air come through the screen door. Now people lock up tight, have alarms and camera's set, and still not completely safe.

We were listening to another one of our favorite bands on TV last night, The Seldom Scene Bluegrass Band, and they sang the song Fallin Leaves. David used to sing that too. Anyway, they sing in the song about at a man's funeral "all the friends he ever had are not around, they have fallen like the leaves upon the ground." Sadly, that's the way it goes as you get older. You see your friends pass on.

David told me once the story of how he learned a lesson while playing in the leaves years ago. There was a big culvert pipe that looked like it could be a fun hideout. He pulled up leaves and brush on each side so he could completely close it off to invaders. Then he decided, it'd be dark in here and I should make a little campfire. He went back to their house and smuggled out a box of wooden matches. He got back in, then he pulled the leaves back shut at his hideout. He set some leaves on fire at one end. Thankfully his mom could see the culvert from their house. She ran down the hill and put the fire out. I don't know how she figured it out so fast, but moms just know stuff. He claims his mom gave him a good spanking and he felt like then his butt was on fire! I questioned that, because his mom was one of the sweetest, gentlest, people I've ever known. HOWEVER, when a youngin' scares you like this, maybe she did.

I am always surprised how even the beauty of each season; some people seem to complain about. I love Missouri and every season has its own special gifts for us. If you notice, those people that have a negative attitude about the weather will about other things as well. Enjoy our seasons. Go pile up some leaves and jump in. They will soon be only memories. Times passes and things change so fast!

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