I just got back inside after watching the sun setting…..it is only 7:30 p.m. but the sun is almost down to the horizon. We must be "losing daylight" at incredible rates these days. It gets dark around 8 p.m. now. The sun is setting right in the middle of the horizon…just as it does on or around March 20-21, but now the light is leaving us instead of coming at us. I still enjoy this time of year….the fall sunshine on a cool crisp day is wonderful. I spent time in it today while I plucked the last of the miniature pumpkins and dragged the vines out of the formerly green and verdant pumpkin patch. It now looks bare and cold. Fall has definitely "fell" on the garden tonight. It has the feel of the first frost in the chilly air right now. I expect to see very limp and dead impatiens in my planter tomorrow morning but it is time. They have been looking battered over the past few days. Amazingly, last night, just as it was getting dark, Buffaloguy saw a lone Hummer feeding from the impatiens. I think he must be the last of the commuters going south and he just pulled into the nearest fast-food joint (our impatiens planter) for a quick meal before he hit the airways going south as fast he could flap his tiny wings.
Tonight reminds me of the fall evenings I used to spend with neighborhood kids in our block. In those days there were leaf fires lit and burning all along our graveled street. There were not any no-burning bans in towns like we lived in…..we kids loved those leaf fires and we waited til our folks all went inside the houses for the night and then took advantage of that delightful short time before they called us inside. One thing I remember doing was "making cigars" out of newspaper rolled up tightly around dry leaves. We then lit our "cigars" and attempted to smoke them, all the while keeping an eye out for a porch light to snap on meaning the parents would be on us in a minute. One of the neighbors was so eager to puff his "cigar" he sucked in some live flames and seared his tongue…..it was not serious but it was enough to discourage the rest of "the smokers". We also played "Star-light, Moon-light, I hope to see the Ghost tonight" on those dark chilly fall evenings. We did it all summer too but it was better in September when the mosquitos were not so pesky for the "Ghost" who often had to hide in mosquito-infested nooks and crannies. We would shiver in scary anticipation on the wooden steps of the old Methodist Church while we counted to 100 to give the Ghost a chance to go out and lurk until we came out chanting, "Starlight, Moonlight, I hope to see the Ghost tonight"…over and over while we hung close to each other the farther we got away from the church steps….sometimes a full harvest moon lit up the yard and it made it even scarier as we crept on, chanting our sing-song rhyme about seeing the ghost tonight. When we got chased by the ghost, we all nearly wet out britches as we ran, screaming, back to the wooden steps. Inevitably one of us would get caught and then the caught one had to be the Ghost on the next round. It still amazes me that we would get so scared by one of our well know playmates hiding as "the Ghost". Our imaginations ran wild in those days.
I should get some grandkids out here on a full moon September night and play the old Ghost game with them. My little sister, when she got old enough to join us in the ghost hunt, would have nightmares and crawl in bed with my my mom and dad who did not appreciate a whimpering scared little girl crowding into their bed and their much needed sleep and I would get scolded for taking her out to play "Starlight, Moonlight". We all survived it somehow, and both my parents lived well into thier eighties in spite of lost sleep.
I will have to ask my Sis if she still has bad dreams occasionally thinking she is being chased by "The Ghost" in the moonlight at the Methodist Church yard next to our old home.