Mary & Bright

I can feel the beginning of fall upon us. Fall in the Ozarks is a great place to be. During early September, as the cooler temperatures try and sneak in at night and escape us during the day, we still know it's coming. My grandmother loved Fall. When I was younger, she would take me to the park near the fairgrounds and as I played, she would tell me, "The Fair will be here soon...." In fact, the fairgrounds were so close to my Granny's house, I could hear the rodeo announcer's voice over the speaker on our walk to the gate. I would complain that I was hot in my flannel shirt, but Granny would say, "It will get chilly later..." I will always associate the County Fair with Fall. My grandmother is to thank for that. Granny16crop October is my favorite month of the year. I've always felt it was the beginning of something special. The exciting prelude to the magical season. As I take a deep breath to write this post, and try desperately to hold on to these memories and not let them escape me, I recollect in pieces, in colors, in smells. As a kid, it was always a challenge to stack my dominos on that Yellowish Orange shag carpet that covered her entire house; yet it was the perfect cushion when our whole family was crammed in there for a Sunday afternoon. The smell of her sweet tea and after-church meal sang to the chorus of conversation and rhythm to her living room pendulum clock. My wife and I got married in October. Decorations were covered in Yellows, Oranges and Reds, and Granny was there in a beautiful blazer the color of an autumn maple leaf. I'm grateful both of my grandmothers were a part of our wedding day. One year I went as Dracula. The following year I went as The Devil, and even had a red pitchfork. We would make our rounds at the wealthy neighborhoods, nursing homes, and area businesses for free candy, but always end up at Granny's house. My brother and I would parade our winnings, and tell her the stories before kissing her goodnight. Her comforting "Goodbye Wave" was tradition as we backed out of her driveway, and I believe it was a prerequisite before we could drive off . I love getting to share our excitement of Halloween with our girls, and we always end each Halloween night with visits to their grandmothers. As I grieve during this difficult time, I have found peace with writing down my thoughts; and while very personal, it felt relevant to share with Hello Luvvy readers. My grandmother was a strong independent woman. She raised five kids by herself while working to provide, yet she always found time for the important things. Family. My grandmother always prepared the Thanksgiving turkey. She always had her photo albums out for us to look at after we ate. Because of the foundation she built, and the love she had for the Lord, we all gathered last weekend as a family. We shared stories, looked through all her photo albums and felt peace knowing she is now in a better place. So as I anticipate the cooler temperatures and plan out our Fall adventures, I have a feeling this is going to be our best season yet. While there will be some sad days, her memory is in everything I love. Whether it is loading film into the camera she gave me, or playing the Bing Crosby Christmas record while decorating our tree, she will be there. I hope everyone who reads this has a wonderful Fall season filled with creativity, love and laughter, as I know my girls and I will. My grandmother is to thank for that.

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