Thursday, October 14, 2010

band competitions and apple pies

Horses have really big eyes. I know this because I just had a totally freaky horse/car encounter. I was sitting in the Equinator at a red light, behind a horse trailer, when suddenly the door opens and this very large horse starts out. The trailer was very low to the ground, so I think he could have made it down to the road if he hadn't been pulled back by the rope tethering him to something inside the trailer. A brave man in the car next to me hopped out of his vehicle and pushed the horse back in, slamming the door before running back to his car. All before the light turned green. I am not sure if the driver of the horse trailer even knew what was going on. The whole episode took maybe all of 30 seconds. And the whole time that horse just stared at me. With these huge, brown, watery eyes. And he did not look happy.

I think that horse just wanted to get back outside. What a beautiful day! The sun is shining, the breeze is soft, and the temperature is just perfect. I love this time of year, and, obviously, so does my new horse friend. This is, hands down, my absolute favorite season.

The crisp air reminds me of band competitions and football games. I remember not caring about the game and totally not understanding the action on the field, until my friend Mark took it upon himself one season to assure that I understood the game. Sadly, I held on to very little of his teaching and so my husband had to practically start from square one when he first began to share his love of the game with me. I remember being a part of the high school marching band and waiting in the end zone for half time. Occasionally we had to scatter as the ball soared our way. And the "circle" before the band competitions. I cannot remember what we called them but I do remember that they had a name. It was a long standing tradition at my high school to gather in a circle before taking the field. Friends, coming together to remind each other that we were a team and we were all in this together. My little family has our own version of the "circle" now- my son calls them "family hugs". We hug hard and we hug often, reminding ourselves that we are all in this life together.

Sometimes this time of year I can hear drums from the marching band of the near by high school. When I do, I am instantly transported to the competition field. Sometimes I am transported to the college field, where I played horn just because there weren't any horn players. Having a section of two, neither of whom actually played the instrument, was a lot of fun. That was the year I learned a lot about clouds and flying and sports from my fellow horn player.

When I was a little girl I used to accompany my father to the band competitions that he judged. I would hang out in the press box and listen to the buzz of all the judges talking into their little tape recorders. Sometimes I would be pressed into service as a "runner", running the large envelopes of scores up and down the stands from the press box to the tabulators below. I loved sitting on that stool high in the press box, watching the older kids marching down below, amazed by the beautiful colors of the flags and the wall of sound when the entire band faced the box. To this day I still love a good company front!

Now a days Fall means pumpkin patches and apple picking with my son. It means baking apple pies and trick or treating. It means taking in a high school football game, a band competition, and a handful of Brown's games. While I fondly remember hanging out with my dad at those high school band shows my son will remember cheering with his dad at the Brown's games. He will remember baking apple pies with his mom. When I walk outside and inhale the crisp Autumn air I wonder which season my son will choose as his favorite?

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