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Written by Chris Lee   

The leaves didn’t fall

Unless I have been in a coma for the last few months, don’t remember fall ever happening.

It was summer, then it got a little cooler and then that white stuff started falling.

Chalk it up, second week in October and we have seen our first snow. I have never really minded the cold winter months. But being able to watch the leaves slowly turn colors and fall off the trees is supposed to happen before Mother Nature decides to let the snow fall.

We are supposed to see kids waiting for their parents to rake all of the leaves in the yard into a big pile and just before they get them ready to bag, the kids spread them all over the yard again by jumping and playing in them.

As a photographer, the brown and golden colors make for some pretty nice backdrops when it comes to family and senior photos. A lot of people even like their family Christmas photo taken during this time of year.

As a kid, snow was something that kept my brother and I entertained and my mother sane. In Imperial, the street crews made big mounds of snow on the streets when it snowed. In some towns they haul those piles away, but not in Imperial. They just left them there for us to play with.

These big mounds made for quite the project. All we needed were two shovels and our snow gear and we were off. We began by digging into the side of the massive piles. Tunneling may be a better word for it. The idea was to hollow out the inside of the mound essentially making it into an igloo.

I can remember on more than one occasion when we were almost finished digging and the entire thing caved in. Yeah, we weren’t that bright but it proved to be fun.

Another fun activity was building snowmen. Now if the snowfall came at the right time, it was during football season. A time when we liked to play pick up games in the neighbors’ yard.

Step one—build a snowman. Step two—get all of your buddies together for a snowy football game. Step three—play tackle football. The first one to completely level the snowman won.

Of course, fall and winter bring other activities. A big one is hunting, pheasant and deer hunting and my favorite, goose hunting. I grew up in a goose pit.

Now, it wasn’t a goose pit in the middle of a wheat or corn field. It was a different type of hunting. There weren’t decoys and we didn’t wear camo. Nope, we sat in a very spacious and warm pit equipped with running water, a toilet, cook top stove, couch and dining room table. I know what you are thinking and no it wasn’t a house. It was the Rolls Royce of goose pits.

This is where I learned how to goose hunt. Sit in this nice pit and wait for the geese to leave the lake and fly over top of us. As they flew by we popped out of the doors in the roof and took aim.

Years later I learned the fine art of lying in a freezing cold field wrapped in camo with decoys surrounding us and a goose call sticking out of my mouth like a cigar. There wasn’t breakfast or a heater, just myself and a couple of brave companions trying to lure flocks of geese to our decoys. I enjoy both types of hunting, but really enjoy my heater.

This type of year as you know is the heart of the college football schedule and you all know how I feel about that. Sitting inside watching football games and watching the flakes fall outside is always a good thing.

Judging by the massive amounts of rain we received this summer, one can only guess what type of winter we will encounter.

Whatever the amount of snow and ice we see this year, remember to buckle up and stay safe on the road. Staying home and keeping warm on those snowy days is an even better idea, well, I guess if it is a weekend. Better not make the boss mad during the week.

Have a happy cold time of year!