SURRATT: After the summer, welcome to fall

Published 4:00 am Friday, September 24, 2021

Wednesday was the autumnal equinox — the first day of fall.

It felt that way, too, as I left home for work and walked to get lunch at noon. And according to the weather forecast, the temperatures are expected to remain mild, with temperatures in the 50s at night and 80s during the day.

After fighting through the summer with warm nights and hotter days, it feels good to get away from days of high heat and humidity forming triple-digit heat indexes with the harsh glare of the sun beating down on your neck. The cooler temperatures make it more comfortable and are a welcome break from three months of suffering.

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But how long will it last?

Let’s remember we’re talking about the geographical area known as “The Deep South,” where the weather can change in an instant and our cool temperatures this week can rise back up to days of 90-degree temperatures and heat indexes of 110, so don’t put up the shorts, t-shirts and sandals just yet.

Fall ushers in one of the South’s most favorite times of the year — football season — and with the cooling of daytime temperatures and the implementation of certain COVID-19 precautions, the aroma of barbecue, jambalaya, gumbo and other forms of comfort food mingle with music from the many radios tuned to favorite stations as tailgaters fill the parking lots in anticipation of joining thousands in a packed stadium to cheer their favorite team.

Of course, the fall also brings its share of chores, most notably raking leaves. I can remember helping my father (under threat of dire consequences) rake leaves in the yard. During my youth, we lived in two houses and both had plenty of leaves: one on Highland Road in Baton Rouge where we could rake leaves and enjoy entertainment as we watched the traffic to Tiger Stadium back up on game days.

Our second home was on Stuart Avenue in Baton Rouge. You couldn’t watch the football traffic, but we had a dog and when you raked leaves you could always count on finding a “surprise” in the pile. Gloves were a necessary tool.

I guess that’s why when we never had a dog when my own family had our homes in Louisiana or Pascagoula; I enjoyed cutting grass and raking the few leaves we had without worrying about stepping in something or getting it on my hands.

But enough reminiscing. I’m finding that as I grow older, the milder days of fall and early winter seem to be more agreeable with my aging disposition. I used to be a hot weather person but now the heat of summer seems too harsh and the sunny days with daytime temperatures between 75 and 80 and nights in the 50s are more agreeable and those are the kind of days I want to last the rest of the year.

So as we move into another season and get closer to the end of the year, it’s time we stopped and enjoyed these cooler temperatures and the enjoyment they can bring because the seasons will change once again and the temperatures will reach the extremes of colder weather. Or will it get hot again?

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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