Fall is my favorite time of the year. I love Fall. Here in the south, it comes late. But it does come… I look forward to the temperature dropping a bit. I love the crinkle of crisp leaves under my feet. If I weren’t so old I’d find a pile of leaves and dive in.
All this week you are in for a special treat - Kingdom Bloggers are visiting and we are talking about Fall.
In Brooklyn, like everywhere, Fall meant back to school. We always started a week or so after Labor Day. It was time to buy new black and white composition notebooks. I still love to hold a new composition notebook in my hands. All those crisp lined white pages to fill with new ideas and assignments, it’s exciting! How handy, the back of the book had a ruler, all sorts of cheats for math, and the multiplication tables. I need those! Soon there would be books to cover with paper bags. Or perhaps I could convince my mother to spend a few sense for a commercial book cover with the name of a college on it, Dartmouth, Yale, Princeton … I suppose they were supposed to motivate us to go to an Ivy League school. Sometimes the NYPD or the NYFD would give us a book cover reminding us of safety. Soon we’d be making posters for fire safety. I never won.
Fall also meant the resumption of Sunday School. For me that was equally exciting! My friends had all fled to Long Island for the summer. Sunday School had stopped. It wasn’t worth it to teach one or two children who remained in the city for the long hot summer. Now they were back. There’d be new quarterlies that would eventually go to Africa to my father’s niece Ruth, a missionary from Norway to Swaziland.
There will be relatively few brisk sunny days here in the south – never enough sweater weather for me. Oh you can wear a sweater through most of the winter here – but those days are usually gloomy and gray. It was a bright sunny Fall day in October when my husband and I decided to drive toward NY state and take in some “leaf peeping.” It was Columbus Day weekend.
We headed west on I-84. I don’t remember where we turned off but we looked for back roads. I love back roads – so much more interesting! As I recall we wandered up through Litchfield County in Connecticut. This area is beautiful – as is most of the state of Connecticut. Crowned with color, the Northwest Hills made you want start singing the “Hills are alive.”
As dusk came, we realized we needed a room for the night. We had brought a backpack each. We had planned to find a place and go back the next day. My husband is hard to get to take little trips – this was a rarity for us. We started stopping at motels, cheaper motels. No room in the inn… no room in the inn – we felt like Mary and Joseph wondering where we’d lay our heads. We talked about just going home. We weren’t far. Finally, in Kingston, NY we found a very shady looking hotel that had a room. We took their last room.
Using long plastic paddle dangling with the key and opened the door. I’ve seen worse. We decided to use the bathroom and then go get some food. I was in the mood for good Pizza… the kind that drips with olive oil and the mozzarella strings from your mouth. After the last flush we headed for the door. It was locked. We jiggled the door. We tried everything. We were captive in the room.
Finally, we called the front desk. Soon the owner, probably named Patel and from Mumbai, came. He knocked on the door. Shouting through the door we said – we can’t open it. Within a few minutes, he jimmied the sliding window open. I realized how insecure this room really was – scary!
As he put his foot over the windowsill, he said “There.” I thought “THERE?” Using a screwdriver and some other tools, he opened the door. With that, we said, “We’ll take our money back.” He said “you used the room.” We said all we did was flush. He was very unhappy. He argued. We persisted. Soon we were driving out with our backpacks and a refund. Coming in was the next victim.
We found a Holiday Inn that had an expensive room available. Had a very late supper and headed back home the next day. It was a great leaf peeping experience. Thinking about it makes me homesick for New England. I want to see the leaves, have fresh maple syrup, and go to the Big E to eat a Maine stuffed baked potato dowsed with cholesterol laden butter and sour cream!