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Fall in the South is here; time to get out and enjoy it

Wednesday morning as I opened the door and prepared to walk to go to work, a sudden chill hit me and sent me back inside looking for a jacket.

According to the weather app on my phone, the temperature was 50 degrees and there was a slight breeze in the air. Fall, I guess, is finally making its way to the Deep South.

I should have recognized it Tuesday afternoon after the leading edge of a cold front made its way across the area; the temperature had surely dropped and there was a good breeze coming off the Mississippi River. It’s just one more indication that the seasons are changing and winter’s grip isn’t far behind.

Early fall in the South is a wonderful time of year. We wake up to cool, crisp, but not freezing temperatures that slowly move to warmer, more moderate temperatures during the day.

For the most part, the sweltering 90-degree temperatures are gone and temps in the upper 70s and 80s dominate the afternoons. It means you can get out and do things without having to gasp for breath or carry a case of water wherever you go.

Fall in the south brings football, flea markets, fall festivals and other activities that allow us to get out and do things without fear of heatstroke or severe sunburn. It’s gotten to where I enjoy the fall; it gives me the opportunity to get out and enjoy things and watch college football.

It wasn’t always that way.

When I was growing up, I didn’t like fall too much. The reason? Leaves. It’s a rite of passage for every male in the U.S. to walk outside only to have their father hand them a rake, point to a spot and say, “Get to work.”

I grew up in Baton Rouge living in two houses; the first was during my pre-teen years and the second from my teens until I got married. Both of them had trees and the second house had a lot of trees, from the sweetgum, tallow trees and oak in the front to the oaks in the back.

Raking trees at the first house wasn’t too bad; the grass was short, the ground firm and since we lived close to Tiger Stadium we got to watch the traffic stack up on Highland Road, which was a main artery to the stadium.

The other house was different — we had a dog.

I’m not blaming our dog, but when you’re raking leaves or cutting grass, you try to be ultra-careful not to step in or handle something disgusting left by the family’s canine companion, and the two dogs we had were “sooners” — sooner do it all over the yard than in one spot.

I no longer have to deal with that. Actually, I haven’t had to deal with it in a long time. And since I don’t have to do fall chores, I can now spend time enjoying the fall.

So COVID be damned, I’m getting out, starting with the Old Court House Flea Market Saturday.

John Surratt is a staff writer for The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at john.surratt@vicksburgpost.com.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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