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‘Frostless fall’

This is a year of weather abnormalities. I’m writing this on Nov. 11 and to date we have not had a killing frost — only two early morning traces of frost that killed nothing. So, I guess I can say this has been a “Frostless fall.”

The wind has stripped a lot of leaves from the trees but the defoliation is not from a killing frost. The lone green pepper plant that I left in the raised-bed garden to ripen for seed for next spring planting is still gourd green — just waiting for the frost to kill it.

According to the weather forecast, I might get a killing frost tonight. If it doesn’t happen, the mid-range forecast for night-time low temperatures goes on for another week without hitting 32 degrees.



I know it’s fall because I’ve seen a few ducks and geese on my pond and the deer are making nightly visits to the clover food plots and the buck deer are thrashing a few saplings in preparation for the rut.

***



I got in a welcome four days of fall fishing with two of my best fishing buddies. First, ol’ Pegan Ray from Iowa stopped in on his way to overwintering in Apache Junction, Ariz. The fishing wasn’t what I’d call “hot,” but it was sufficiently good that we were able to send about a bunch of fish fillets with him so he can feed his buddies who think there’s no good fishing in Kansas.

I will tell this embarrassing fishing fact on myself. The last day that Pegan and I fished, we put 24 bass and crappie on the stringer — he put on 22 and I put on a paltry two fish. I just got flat-out out fished.

Then Monday and Tuesday of this week, ol’ Claude Hopper, from Pratt, Kan., came on a two-day fishing trip. Again the fishing wuzn’t hot, but it was steady enuf to keep us fishing. I’m happy to report that I caught the biggest fish — a fat 4-pound bass — and Claude caught the most crappie from a hot-spot that he found in a pond. Most all the crappie were 12- to 14-inchers. Yum, yum!

***

Regular readers know I’m well into the what is called my “senior years.” One of them is my ol’ buddy, Willie Makitt, from Mt. Vernon, Mo. That’s why he sent me the following perspectives on reaching the lower end of the slippery-slide of life:

1. After loving my parents, my spouse, my children and my kinfolks and friends, I have now started loving myself.

2. I have realized that I am not “Atlas.” The world does not rest on my shoulders.

3. I have stopped bargaining with vegetable and fruit vendors. A few pennies more is not going to break me, but it might help the poor vendor save for his or her daughter’s school fees.

4. I leave my waitress a big tip. The extra money might bring a smile to her face. She is toiling much harder for a living than I am.

5. I stopped telling the elderly that they’ve already told that story many times. The story makes them walk down memory lane and relive their past. I know it’s true because I do it all the time.

6. I have learned not to correct people even when I know they are wrong. The onus of making everyone perfect is not on me. Peace is more precious than perfection.

7. I give compliments freely and generously. Compliments are a mood enhancer, not only for the recipient, but also for me. And a small tip for the recipient of a compliment, never, NEVER turn it down, just say “Thank You.”

8. I have learned not to bother about a crease or a spot on my shirt or a patch on my overalls. Personality speaks louder than appearances.

9. I walk away from people who don’t value me. They might not know my worth, but I do.

10. I remain cool when someone plays dirty to outrun me in the rat race. I am not a rat and neither am I in any race.

11. I am learning not to be embarrassed by my emotions. It’s my emotions that make me human.

12. I have learned that it’s better to drop the ego than to break a relationship. My ego will keep me aloof, whereas with relationships, I will never be alone.

13. I am doing what makes me happy. I am responsible for my happiness, and I owe it to myself. Happiness is a choice. You can be happy at any time, just choose to be!

***

A 4-H Club decided to have a fund drive by collecting bottles and cans for the recycle money. A young 4-H’er timidly knocked on the door of a rural farm home and a woman opened the door and asked gruffly, “What do you want?”

The little boy meekly explained the fund drive and asked the woman if she had any old beer bottles to donate.

The lady hit the ceiling. “Do I look like the kind of lady who would drink beer?” she asked in a self-righteous tone.

The little boy replied, “I’m sorry, ma’am. Do you have any vinegar bottles?”

***

Words of wisdom for the week. Don’t answer this want ad: “Dog for sale, eats anything, and is fond of children.” Have a good ‘un.


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