Jack’s Mid-Missouri Memories: Fall Fever
This memory is one I wrote in the fall not long ago, and with the chill in the air on some mornings, I am beginning to get the feeling associated with the memory again. It’s called “Fall Fever.”
I was sitting on my front porch one morning not long ago, a blanket over my legs against the cool fall morning breezes. My hands were wrapped around a hot cup of coffee that tasted better than it has since I sat bundled up there last spring. It was then that I felt it coming over me again. The “It” is a weakness that hits me twice every year. It’s nothing serious and I’m sure it is something I have in common with a lot of other nature lovers, but it does keep me from getting much done until the feeling goes away. It is a weakness that makes me want to sit on my front porch for hours at a time, just watching the leaves fall and the squirrels play. The weakness will not require pills, doctors, or cold compresses; all I need is a little time.
I have fall fever. Fall fever is like spring fever except you feel too lazy to do different chores than those of the first of the year. In the spring, people can claim spring fever to put off doing chores like bringing the yard furniture out of the basement or moving a forest of plants back outside. There are a lot of others of course, but those are the two that came to my mind for some reason. The problem is fall fever does not get the recognition and respect spring fever does, at least not at my house. In the spring I can say, "I just don’t feel like doing anything today,” and my wife will shake her head knowingly, and say “must be spring fever.” She will even join me on the front porch sometimes as that season’s malady takes hold of her too. She must be immune to fall fever however, because when I claim to have that one to explain my lack of enthusiasm for all the waiting chores, I get no understanding at all. She just thinks I’m trying to get out of doing all those things on her list.
The fall list of chores include things like cutting of the grass one last time, cleaning out the gutters and re-storing all those things I took out of storage last spring. As I sat there on the porch obviously infected with the fever, my mind began to think things like, "The frost will kill the grass anyway if I wait long enough, and are the gutters really that full?" My wife of course had the answer.
I have searched in vain for a medical term for my malady, one that will satisfy my wife, but all she sees is the knee high grass and overflowing gutters. She refuses to take my self-diagnosis of fall fever seriously and even claims there is no such thing. I am presently seeking the help of others that are afflicted by this weakness, not for the hope of a cure mind you, because I rather enjoy it. I just thought if we banded together in one lethargic group, our spouses might give us a break now and then.