News From Terre Haute, Indiana


November 15, 2013

RONN MOTT: Facing the stark realities of cold autumn weather

I would guess that the poet and the song writer are not around, or don’t care, when the leaves of brown come tumbling down in the rain. We seem to have autumn forever fixed in our minds with blue skies, soft breezes and yellows and reds and golden leaves slipping past us on a beautiful autumn day.

I thought about this one day last week when our blue skies turned gray. The rain had knocked down the leaves that had refused to fall, and then the leaves just laid there as if they were glued to the grass by the rain. Leaves weren’t blowing, but Old Man Winter was right around the corner because the temperature turned more like winter than autumn.

Autumn is one of my favorite seasons, but I suppose I’m the optimist wanting those soft breezes, temps in the 60s, and blue skies. To me, that’s autumn. On the other hand, a wet, cold rain knocking down leaves and coming up with cold temps fits more into what my memory considers winter. I know what time of year it is, and there’s just something bone-chilling about wet leaves stuck everywhere, cold wind and a gray sky. Certainly seems more like winter than fall.

The only saving grace here is the latter days of autumn and the earliest days of winter give us some holiday cheer. Halloween got the wind knocked out of it because of rain and wind. And the kids were robbed of one of their “beggars’ nights.” But coming up will be the most American of our holidays, Thanksgiving. And then Christmas with New Year’s right behind. Then, the very dull winter days will set in and we’ll be hoping above hope for an early spring.

This, after all, may be what the change of season is all about, something to gripe about or wish for something else. I remember one New Year’s Day when I sat on my porch in Marianna, Fla., puffing on a cigar while wearing a T-shirt and a pair of shorts. For this Indiana boy, it surely did not seem attire or activity I would normally wear and do on New Year’s Day.

So, while I may grouse a bit about weather that is less than perfect, it is weather I am accustomed to and dress for. I mean, in reality, this has not been too bad and I have the most difficult part of the winter coming upon me. And just to make me feel like an old grouch, the most disappointing part of an early spring will also be springing upon me.

Maybe I have out-grown my love for the change of seasons.

Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.

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