The first day of autumn arrived on Saturday giving me two things to celebrate. Our youngest granddaughter turned six and the arrival of my favorite time of year are both reasons to smile.
I hope we have a long, pleasant fall season. I love to see the leaves turn gold and red and the cotton fields turn white.
This summer was really dry and hot and I hope Autumn stays around for a while before we have to dig out the heavy coats.
As I said before, I enjoy watching the leaves turn. I enjoy driving through the Ozarks a little later just to see the trees all dressed up in fall colors. I like the cool mornings and evenings with no mosquitoes.
Our weather definitely changes in Northeast Arkansas. Sometimes even in the same day. There are only a few things out of man's control in this day and age and weather is one of them. They can predict it but they can't change it.
I can't help but notice moods seem to be a bit better since the temperatures went down. I have seen more smiles and heard more good mornings than when the temperature was in triple digits.
We have gotten so accustomed to air conditioning it is hard for us to even smile when we are hot. We go from our cool homes to our cool cars into our cool offices or stores. We just don't like to get hot anymore.
When I think back, I don't know how we survived without air conditioning. It was just a way of life and it is true, we can't miss something we have never had. When it was hot, we got under a shade tree or in front of a fan.
Kids today will never know about life before air conditioning as my generation will never know life without electricity, fans and screens. They will never know what it is like to hand pick cotton all day for about $3 or less.
I am so amazed when I see the modern cotton pickers going through the fields today and see what they can do.
We may not live in the most beautiful place in Arkansas but when the cotton turns white in the fields it is a beauty all of its own. I have heard my grandparents talk about the days when people would come down from the hills to the flat country to pick cotton. As a matter of fact, my parents met when my mom's family came from the Walnut Ridge area to Manila to pick cotton on my dad's family farm.
I have never heard anyone say picking cotton was fun, but it was a way of life. It was hard work for little pay but families worked together to make enough money to get through the winter. Some picked cotton to get enough money to leave the cotton fields going north to look for jobs.
Schools had split term so families could work together and help with the cotton harvest.
It was a different time but the arrival of fall and the cotton harvest is still welcomed in our area.