I love the fall. I don’t know why. It’s not that we have much fall weather here. And I prefer when the flowers are in full bloom and the extended daylight hours. I enjoy the warmth of the sun on my skin while walking in the park. In essence, I’m really a summer/spring girl, but I don’t dislike fall.
Fall is fun. With fall comes the warm tone colors of browns, golds, and oranges—all colors that I look fantastic wearing. Well, some browns and a few oranges, but that’s a story for a fashion post. I like to think of fall as the beginning of the festive season. Typically, spring is seen as the season of rebirth; it’s said that mother nature springs to life. (See what I did there?) But if one thinks about it, it’s the fall that things happen that people get moving. Fall is where everything starts booming and falls into place. (See, that I did it again?) Before anyone disagrees, think about it.
In the U.S., it kicks off with Labor Day—the official storage of white clothing. At least, traditionally, that was how it used to be prior to the invention of “winter white” and “I wear whatever the heck I want.” Kids go back to school with the latest uniform fashions. (Being a high school fashion icon is no longer what it used to be and slowly becoming a relic.) Television fall lineups premiere. Usually, there’s a string of fall festivals/Oktoberfests. Pumpkins start appearing and then transform into jack-o’-lanterns. (Does anyone used that term anymore?) Things start to get spooky with the anticipation of Halloween.
Actually, the spook factor is no longer a given with more and more people opting for cute and over-the-top sexy as opposed to ghoulish. People gorge themselves on chocolates and candies (not once or twice, but several times during this season). People get jovial with pranks and having someone make the hair stand on the back of their necks.
Then, there’s a shift towards focusing on family and togetherness and the commercialization of buying overpriced gifts that no one needs, and spirals buyers into debt. In the meantime and in-between time in the U.S., there’s a huge feast fest where no turkey is safe that mainstream media—but not the Board of Education—basically ignores. Dinner tables are stacked with Grandma’s sweet potato pie and Aunt Helen’s (everyone has an aunt Helen) stuffing.
On a side note, when I was in grade school, we got two days off for Thanksgiving—the holiday and a day of recovery from gluttony… Well, that and the fact many people traveled to see family. Nah, the teachers just wanted the day off. Now, kids get the full week and adults are promised earlier and earlier bird sales. What started as opening early at 7:00 AM or 6:00 AM long ago was scaled back to 5:00 AM, 4:00 AM, 3:00 AM, midnight, Thursday evening. Anymore and “Black Friday” will begin November 1. And let’s not forget: Cyber Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. At this point, it’s all ridiculous in my opinion.
But this joyful (for many) time is saturated with nostalgic movies, tall trees with branches sagging from ceramic ornaments, snowball fights (or so southerners are told), and more food (and weight gain). Good will becomes a theme, and red kettlebells can be heard ringing across cities. There are tree lightings and parties after parties. By now, people are calling it winter.
There’s lots of buildup, and before long, Christmas has come and gone. There isn’t much time to recuperate before people drink themselves into a new year with a hoard of self-promises (you know, a.k.a., resolutions) that they break within a month.
Lurking not too far around the corner is V-Day. (No, the other V-Day and not the one that happened on May 8, 1945.) I’m talking about the red heart, baby wears a diaper and shoots pink candy arrows at folks (allegedly). Yes, I’m speaking of Valentine’s Day, which leads us to the present. (Talk about a dissertation for an intro. I think I’ve outdone myself.)
I’ve always known Valentine’s Day to be a crazy bipolar type of day. By bipolar, I mean the mood of most people/shops are to the extreme. Either people love or loath this day. Some consider it one huge money grab, and from the way it is promoted, I honestly can’t disagree. Locally, schools and businesses have limited, restricted, or even barred deliveries on this day. I remember my school office looking like a funeral visitation for a dignitary. Balloons, flowers, and stuffed animals covered ever available surface space. My understanding is that the situation has grown worse, and on Valentine’s Day all deliveries are redirected to tables erected in the gym. Students are allowed to visit at lunch to see if they have a treat and only remove anything after the final bell. A teacher is posted throughout the day to monitor and guard deliveries. Reportedly, public schools have taken steps further and disallowed any school deliveries but allow the student council to sell Hershey’s Kisses and paper heart cutouts.
During my time (to make myself sound antiquated), this was a day of great distress. Students with overly indulgent parents, puppy love-stricken significant others, or birthdays close to that date would hit the jackpot. They would be loaded with so much loot that they had to make multiple trips to load all their goodies into their cars. Other students were left feeling unloved, forgotten, and abandoned as they received nothing. Most times, their feelings were unjustified. Flowers are expensive, and not all families could afford large bouquets, especially for parents with several children. And it wasn’t like today where one could make a run to Walmart or even the dollar store and purchase a bouquet for a couple of bucks. And other parents were clueless. (That would be me.) Who would think to send a kindergartener a dozen roses? Yes, parents did that. Talk about peer pressure at it’s finest. I felt horrible having not thought to send my five-year-old anything and having her see all the other kids with gifts. For what? She didn’t even like flowers. I took her for a Happy Meal that afternoon, but you best believe the next year I didn’t forget. But where I work, they make Valentine’s Day baskets filled with chips, a soft drink, and candy for a reasonable price.
But let me tell you what I think the ultimate Valentine’s Day gift is. It is showing kindness. It is being there for others. It is taking an extra step to make someone feel wanted and loved. And this isn’t something that is done one day of the year. It is something that is done throughout the year. It is an action that should be shown and expressed daily. Because one day, there will not be another Valentine’s Day.
Over the years, I’ve received Valentine’s Day gifts, and honestly, I don’t remember most. But I do remember the day when I was still in high school when thunderstorms cropped up without much warning. Either the meteorologist had missed it or it didn’t show up on his radar. That afternoon, it was pouring. Few people had come to school prepared. When I exited, I saw my father standing with an umbrella, waiting for me. Not only had he thought about me, he’d taken the time to act. That is something I’ve never forgotten. Now that he’s gone, it’s one of my most precious memories. And that day wasn’t Valentine’s Day.
So, the message is don’t look for love in one day. Don’t only store the sincerity of feelings in diamonds and flowers. Many people make wedding vows and exchange rings only to pawn them after a bitter divorce. Flowers die. Chocolates can grow stale and mold. But true love in action is trapped in our hearts and extends into eternity. Have a happy Valentine’s Day.
For more of how I write, my stories, and my shenanigans, giveaways, and more, check out my blog, Creole Bayou, www.genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com. And speaking of giveaways, I have one coming soon in celebration of my new steamy, sports romance, Ice Gladiators, guaranteed to melt the ice. It’s the third book in my Locker Room Love series. Ice Gladiators is being released February 15, 2020. Check her out. If you like makeup, you won’t want to miss this beauty of a prize.
Taz has problems: a stalled career, a coach threatening to destroy him, a meddling matchmaking roommate, and a thing for his other roommate’s boyfriend. The first three are manageable, but the last… well, that’s complicated. Because as much as Taz is attempting not to notice Liam, Liam is noticing him.
New posts are made on Wednesdays, and everything is raw and unscathed. Climb on in a pirogue and join me on the bayou. If you have any questions or suggestions about this post or any others, feel free to comment below or tweet me at @dolynesaidso. You also can follow me on Instagram at genevivechambleeauthor or search me on Goodreads or Amazon Authors.
Missed the two books in my sports romance series? No frets. Out of the Penalty Box, where it’s one minute in the box or a lifetime, out is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. Visit www.books2read.com/penalty. Defending the Net can be ordered at www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.
Until next time, happy reading and much romance.