Sounds, Smells, and Sights of the Upcoming Holiday Season

November has arrived and the obvious signs of fall and the holiday season to come are teeming on everyone’s mind. The trees are beginning to change to those glorious orange and amber colors. The mornings are cold and dew3055791528_09f92f28ab.jpgy and thanks to daylight savings, evenings come sooner. It is in this twilight time when the sun is about to set that the glorious smells of fires burning create that smoky haze that just lingers above the rooftops before snuggling down in fields. The honking of the geese overhead as they make their way south becomes an anthem of this season. In the Northstate we all have seen and can picture this view of the surrounding valley and mountains.  It is a time of year when everyone starts craving warm drinks, pumpkin pie, persimmon cookies, and pomegranates. With Thanksgiving and Christmas just a short way off we can all look forward to family and friends gathering to share stories and spread the cheer of the season and togetherness.

I would like to share a poem by James Whitcomb Riley that my Dad tells religiously every year when fall comes to town.  This poem perfectly envisions all the sensations of a glorious autumn. Enjoy!

‘When the Frost is on the Punkin’

By James Whitcomb Riley

WHEN the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock, 
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin’ turkey-cock, 
And the clackin’ of the guineys, and the cluckin’ of the hens, 
And the rooster’s hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence; 
O, it’s then the time a feller is a-feelin’ at his best, 
With the risin’ sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest, 
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock, 
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock. 
   
They’s something kindo’ harty-like about the atmusfere 
When the heat of summer’s over and the coolin’ fall is here— 
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossoms on the trees, 
And the mumble of the hummin’-birds and buzzin’ of the bees; 
But the air’s so appetizin’; and the landscape through the haze 
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days 
Is a pictur’ that no painter has the colorin’ to mock— 
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock. 
   
The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn, 
And the raspin’ of the tangled leaves as golden as the morn; 
The stubble in the furries—kindo’ lonesome-like, but still 
A-preachin’ sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill; 
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed; 
The hosses in theyr stalls below—the clover overhead!— 
O, it sets my hart a-clickin’ like the tickin’ of a clock, 
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock. 
   
Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps 
Is poured around the cellar-floor in red and yaller heaps; 
And your cider-makin’s over, and your wimmern-folks is through 
With theyr mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and sausage too!… 
I don’t know how to tell it—but ef such a thing could be 
As the angels wantin’ boardin’, and they’d call around on me— 
I’d want to ‘commodate ‘em—all the whole-indurin’ flock— 
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock. 

 

* If you or your business/event/organization would like to have this poem performed live sometime soon or if you would like to post advertisements on our webpage please let us know by contacting Hannah Main at hannah@shasta.com. Look for more current Chico event posts by future CSU Chico student Hannah Main soon. 

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