Having gone back to school at the beginning of September after somewhere in the neighbourhood of fifty years, there is a certain nostalgia as I see school buses through my kitchen window on the first day back at school.  There is something special about a brand new sharpener, pencils, and pencil crayons.  Aren’t new notebooks clean on the inside and outside just waiting for perfect writing and numbers special as well? In a short time, the pencils are little stubs and some of the notebooks are pretty grubby looking.

Another September memory is blisters on my heels.  I went to a girl’s school and we wore uniforms of dark navy box pleated skirts and a vest type top, with white blouses underneath.  Back then there was no such thing as perma-press., and each blouse had to be lovingly ironed after it was washed.  Mostly, we ironed the collars and sleeves as that was all that showed.  On gym days, we ironed the whole thing.  The first year I wore the uniform, we had to wear black Lyle stockings.  By the next year, the rules had been relaxed and we could wear nylons.  The bane of my existence was the shoes – Black Oxfords.  After a summer of mostly going barefoot, the shoes were a big shock to my feet.  Within a day or so, blisters formed on my heels.  That led to several weeks of Band-Aids in an effort to make walking possible.  By the time the snow flew, my heels were usually healed.

At the end of August /the beginning of September, the corn was ready, and fresly picked from a local farmer’s field and sold at a roadside stand the same day.  We were ready for it because we didn’t have corn the rest of the year.  Now we can buy flavourless corn most of the year, but having been transported thousands of kilometres doesn’t make it taste good.  We had corn roasts, as it was a great excuse for a party.

When we lived in the country, we had pig roasts.  The night before the pig roast, there was a gathering of neighbours.  The pig was put on a spit and tied in spots to make sure it turned as the spit did.  The fire (apple wood I think) under it was lit at some point and the pig spent the day slowly turning.  Over the afternoon friends and neighbours gathered at the farm of the host.

The evening before, the corn was prepared.  The husks were folded back and the silks pulled out.  The husks were then returned to covering the corn.  When it was time to eat, the corn was thrown right onto a huge bonfire.  Near the fire was a cauldron full of very hot water with butter melted on top.  When the corn came off the fire, you pulled off the husks and dipped the corn into the cauldron.  It came out dripping with butter. Those who went to the pig roast brought salads and desserts and stuff that pretty well filled a farm wagon.  The pig was always cooked to perfection and so tasty.  A pig roast must be one of the most perfect ways to enjoy a Canadian Fall.

The change of colour in the fall lets us know that the season has changed, and we don’t need a calendar to tell us.  I think we appreciate the beautiful colours, but we kind of expect it.  There are a lot of places that aren’t blessed with this.  In the fall, cruise ships offer ‘fall foliage’ cruises from New England and Maine into Quebec City.  We have met a lot of people from California and other western states who take the cruises just to see the changing leaves.  Lots of time the cruises are ahead of the changing leaves, so I’m not sure how many of the colourful trees they get to see.  If they got on the train with us in Quebec City and traveled to Montreal, they would see plenty.

I hope you are enjoying the cooler days of September.  This is what the Farmer’s Almanac has to say for the upcoming winter for our region.

“Winter temperatures will be close to normal, on average, with above-normal precipitation and snowfall. The coldest periods will be in mid- and late December, early and late January, and early February. Additionally, the snowiest periods will be in early December, mid-February, and early to mid-March. The Almanac predicts April and May will be cooler than normal, with above-normal precipitation.

Happy Fall.

About the Author

Linda Calder is a retired teacher. She likes to write and enjoys spending time with her family. She also enjoys going on cruises, taking pictures and scrapbooking.