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Texas | Columns | "Quips and Salsa"

Why do we fall for fall?

by Jase Graves
Jase Graves

Yes, it's that glorious season that so many pumpkin-spice addicts claim to be their favorite. I must admit that, I, too, succumb each year to the autumnal charms of fall, except for my seemingly never-ending battle with leaves, or, as I like to call them—tree dandruff.

So what is it that ironically draws us to a season that marks the end of long, carefree summer days when the sight of a shirtless dad bod outdoors is slightly less disturbing?

Let's get the obvious one out of the way first, the aforementioned king of all seasonal seasonings, pumpkin spice. I'm not sure when pumpkin spice became a thing, but it's getting out of hand. I expect any day to pull up to my favorite gas station and be forced to decide between regular, plus and pumpkin-spicy turbo.

I guess you could call me an originalist when it comes to my only pumpkin spice indulgence, the humble pumpkin pie. I start craving pumpkin pie in mid-August, and I've already made a few this year. (At some point, I'll make one to share with the family.)

I make my pumpkin pie with about half the spice it calls for. (I think it's healthier that way.) And I garnish it with enough whipped cream to play a diverting game of "Find the Pie." Sometimes, I just eat a plate of whipped cream and pretend the pie is in there somewhere.

Other than pie (what else is there, really?), fall heralds the onset of deer hunting season—the time of year when most of my buddies gear up and head to the woods for early Saturday morning hunts while I sleep in long enough to wake up to a beautiful autumn sunset.

Philosophically, I don't have anything against hunting. It just seems too much like work—with all the getting up early, packing supplies and getting up early. In fact, as I've mentioned in previous columns, I actually went deer hunting with my father-in-law when I was dating his daughter and he was probably thinking about putting me in a deer costume. You know—to draw in the deer.

On one of these occasions, he had me "sleep" in one of those 1970s aluminum lawn chairs and pointed out that if I needed to use the "restroom," I should wear shoes, take a flashlight and probably carry a weapon of some kind.

The next morning (really still the middle of the night), he drove me deep into the woods to a deer stand, which consisted of a single scrap of lumber nailed across two forking oak branches. (It was almost as luxurious as the lawn chair.) He told me he'd pick me up at around noon—if he could find his way back.

I truly enjoyed experiencing the East Texas woods waking up around me with birds twittering, squirrels chattering and my stomach asking if there was a Chick-fil-A nearby. And, just as the sunlight began to glint through the thicket, I even spotted a small yearling buck—probably wondering why in the world I was up at that hour.

I found hunting to be an unforgettable experience, and when my father-in-law invited me to go again, I asked him to let me sleep on it. (I've been sleeping on it for 33 years.)

There are many other reasons folks love the fall, and as I ponder them, I think I'll have another slice of pumpkin pie—and I may or may not wear a shirt while I eat it.
Jase Graves
"Quips and Salsa" 11-14-23 column

Jase Grave's "Quips and Salsa" columns
Humor


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