By Cait Collins
I love this time of the year. The weather is cooler, thank goodness. (I tend to melt in the summer.) But the really special thing about fall is the color and the fragrance. Imagine an apple orchard filled with red delicious apples. Or groves of McIntosh apples. Did you know each variety of apples has its own fragrance? And what if you could buy an empty bushel basket and go pick your own apples?
Have you ever had an apple core fight? Never mind the mess, pelting your friends with crabapple cores is just plain fun. I recall one fight in Maine. We had two teams and made our garages home base. You see, we lived in military housing and two apartments shared a large double driveway and double garages. A sheetrock wall separated the garage space. Fun thing was the wall did not go all the way to the top. So we had about twelve inches of space to lob crabapples through the opening and bombard the enemy. Our parents were pretty cool about our little war. They didn’t scream at us to behave. Instead they allow us to play. And when time was called, every kid in the neighborhood pitched in to clean up the apple cores and the “applesauce” we had created.
Soon the autumn splendor began to fade and winter approached. Even with the cold and deep snows, my friends and I still managed to throw things. Snowball fights replaced apple core battles. And when the war ended, there were driveways and sidewalks to shovel.
Growing up military wasn’t so bad. The memories are inspiration for my stories and books. They are special treasures that brighten my life and bring smiles when I choose to open my memory box. As I type this blog, I see a group of children who knew how to play and also how to work. We were only together two or three years. Our fathers would receive orders and we’d move on. On nights like tonight, I wonder where they are. Are they happy? Did they reach their goals? Do they remember? I wish we could have a reunion. Or maybe we can have a long phone conversation. Or better yet, we keep the memory alive by telling our kids about our escapades. I miss those children…Paula, Randy, Mike, Wendy, Bonnie, Pat, Tommy, how are you doing?