September is a month that stimulates our passions. It tantalizes us at the outset by not picking up the pace and throwing off its days of dreadful heat. Some of the hottest days I remember seemingly have come about in our ninth month—usually for a football game.
That is why September is such a teaser. It ushers in football season and that gives it high rank with most everybody. Nothing like football competition, tailgating, bands playing and kids frolicking about the grounds.
Maybe we appreciate September because the greatest month of the year, October, follows. There is more to September than football. It is the harvest month. Fruits and vegetables peak for picking in September.
After Labor Day, you can drive through the mountains of North Georgia and enjoy a heartwarming journey as you take note of the harvest scene.
Hay in the fields simply takes your breath away. I would like to own a few acres just to enjoy the production of hay to grace the landscape and allow for taking a shotgun and a few shells to the field and rest against a roll of hay and wait for a few doves to come in view. Then try to knock down my supper.
This brings back the memory of the dove shoots I once enjoyed on William Porterfield’s farm near Comer in nearby Madison County, which he hosted with John Terrell, the all-time great Bulldog fan who owned the Merchants and Farmers Bank.
After the dove shoot, everybody repaired to William’s place, where they enjoyed the most festive social which was followed by a downhome meal of beans, slaw and chicken halves cooked to perfection on an open pit by a local postmaster, Billy Bryant, who had a touch with roasting chicken which Martha Stewart and Paula Dean would envy. I now pause and conjure up images of that meal and the memories of the three men who enjoyed hosting an event that was as pleasant as summertime breeze.
Remembering such times always makes me wonder what might happen with our country if Congress took a break to enjoy a dove shoot or a watermelon cutting or a drive through the countryside at peak harvest each fall.
As September segues into October, we are reminded that the trout in the streams of North Georgia will soon be active. They run away and hide when it is hot. Fall fly fishing on the Chattahoochee remains one of life’s richest pleasures, and it is just a little more than an hour from my front door. I’m into planning already. Hot diggity Dawg. Georgia football on the weekend, fly fishing the Chattahoochee mid-week.
The drive to Helen to connect with my friend Jimmy Harris who is a businessman with a fisherman’s touch that warrants his being inducted into some Flyfisher Hall of Fame.
Already I have noticed that the days are getting shorter. Daybreak comes a little later every morning. With early morning allowing for catch-up with the computer with that initial cup of coffee as the world turns toward daybreak, I find myself always in a grateful mood. The harvest season does that to you.
We will always appreciate September for the harvest moon. What a joyful time! This year the harvest moon will come about on September 22, and I will stand in my front yard and toss verbal bouquets in its direction.
Of course, I will sing the lyrics I can remember from one of my favorite songs, “Harvest Moon.” If you don’t know the lyrics to “Harvest Moon,” look them up and memorize enough of them to sing in the shower, on the way to work and whenever there is a lull at the office. It will make your day.
September is the month to take Grandma out for pizza and a beer. It is the month for National Grandparents Day, National Cheese Pizza Day and National Drink a Beer day.
If you are into all that, then you can’t do all that imbibing without toasting. Toast your friends and neighbors, toast the harvest moon and toast September for ushering us into October.