We were driving yesterday when we noticed that the leaves are beginning to change. Now it it still in the high 80’s and low 90’s…but it is a start!
I have said it before but it is worth repeating…I love the fall!
I throughly enjoy seeing my University, Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale, gearing up for the Fall semester. Each autumn I reflect on the opportunities that SIUC offers to our wonderful students and university community. I have referred to the entrances of our school having a very visible, if you have the desire to see it, sign that states, Opportunity, and that it exists for all those who enter the gates of learning and understanding! The University is transformational. It can take a person with a dim view of their future and of their life road and transform them into a person who is clear on the direction the they are traveling and their mission as they traverse the road of life!
Two primary outside influences transformed me into a happy person with a renewed desire each day to attempt to make a positive difference in someone’s life and help where I can. One would be the Christian philosophy which I began as a youngster and I was subsequently amazed at the doors of happiness and purpose that it opened for me. The other would be my fortunate affiliation with SIUC over 41 years ago.
Southern Illinois University took a young man, little more than a boy, and transformed him from a person with limited life options and a narrow view of the world to a person of purpose and a citizen of the world community of humanity!
Fall has my favorite things. Being born on October 24th I have a natural affinity for the season! I like Halloween more and more each year….especially the Turner Classic Movies’ running of the old monster movie classics! The cooler temperatures are my cup of tea and the natural majesty of the leaves changing colors is resplendent in Southern Illinois!
Aaron’s birthday is in November! I recall, like it was yesterday, his birth on a unusually warm November 16th. His mom and I were so excited and mystified by the challenge of a new life in our little family!
Thanksgiving is a major event in the Brooks home! As a child our Thanksgiving festivities consisted of my watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade on television and nothing more. Thanksgiving was the day that mom began her Christmas preparations. But, Mary Jane takes Thanksgiving seriously and has hosted our family for the past 30 years for a joyful feast and revelry and, for the past several celebrations some wine and spirits to make the convocation complete! When we lived in Elkville we had a four room house and many Thanksgivings we had over twenty for our magnificent dinner.
The majority of the Christmas season is in the fall! It is, ‘the most wonderful time of the year!’
For many years I marked the beginning of my favorite four months of the year with Jerry Lewis and the Muscular Dystrophy telethon over Labor Day. I must confess that Labor Day being the close of summer in many people’s minds…is a joy to me!
So, autumn really begins for me…in August. While the temperatures are still scorching and the children have a few more days of freedom…and an old man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of fall and it’s multitudes of joys!