Awesome Leaves Must Fall

Growing up, Fall was always my favorite season.  

Jackets pulled tight against the cold.  Friday night NHS Tiger Football games. And going all Boomer Soonery on Saturdays (Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Selmon).

As you get older, you realise that of the best thing about Fall is the incredible colors of leaves as the turn.

Not many Fall leaves would crunch underfoot in our backyard on Nebraska Street. Nothing special. The trees were too young.

But at my grandmother Moew’s house on Lahoma, near OU, it was a very different story.

Moew was surrounded by old Oak trees. The piles of Fall leaves in her backyard would have made Calvin and Hobbs think they’d died and gone to heaven.

Every year I’d grab Moew’s ancient rake and work up a sweat raking up a waist-high pile.

Then it was serious leapin’ time — but you had to be quick, else the Oklahoma wind would undo your handiwork.

Swan Dive

I loved to push my bottom way deep into the cyclone fence, and then “shoot” toward the pile of leaves at about a million miles per hour.

We’d leap soooo high, and just hang there, forever, way before  Michael Jordan thought about doing it for a living.

And then? A perfect swan dive, or even a full flip, dead center into the massive leaf pile, which would explode with a “PSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHH”, followed by maniacal, childish laughter.

Then repeat a million times. Maybe two million.

Then Moew would call us in for a grilled cheese sandwich that she’d made just right, using half a stick of butter in her huge cast iron skillet.

Throw in dill pickles, a mountain of Lay’s potato chips and a couple of AAA root beers, and man, you were livin’ high on the hog.

Moew’s leaves were awesome, but when I got older I realized they were  strictly minor league.

Big League Leaves

The Big League of Fall Leaves was in Arkansas, witness the photo above.

In my 20s and 30s, when I was single, and after I got married, we’d leave Texas behind every Fall and head north for a few days.

Moew was gone by then.  We’d gather Mom and a sister or two, then head to Arkansas once we’d heard through the grapevine that the “leaves had turned”.

I think it was a three-or four-hour drive from Norman to Arkansas, but it was so worth it.

When you got there, you could literally drive for miles and miles and miles and just marvel at the leaves. You don’t “get” that until you get older.

There were a million shades of red and yellow and orange and brown — sometimes pastels, sometimes shockingly electric, as if the leaves were God’s palette for painting Fall.

We’d meander for hours, much of the time in silence, until an awestruck sister would say, “Oh, Mother, look at that!” And you’d be stunned by yet another impossibly gorgeous Fall snapshot.

Even if you were only driving 25mph while trying to take it all in, nobody would honk to make you speed up.

They were also enjoying the leaves.

It was sort of like at Christmas, when countless carloads of people drive around looking at all the gorgeous Christmas lights.

People, if you are seriously into Autumn leaves, start planning now. Go to  https://www.arkansas.com/fall-foliage/fall-update/ to get Arkansas Fall Foilage Vacation information.

You’re welcome.




4 Responses to “Awesome Leaves Must Fall”

  1. Lillian L. says:

    Autumn in the Ozarks is THE BEST! War Eagle weekend, Eureka Springs, produce stands. Oh Yes!

  2. J-P says:

    Thank you UBP for the fall leaves reference and niceness of your trips to AR. You are back in the will.

    • hams says:

      J-P. Being back in the Will is a good thing, since you almost certainly don’t have much time left, thanks to your beer and heartworm habit… Kidding. May you live long and prosper. Like all Type A+++ personalities. UBP

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