I just spent three glorious days in Nashville with my son William. As always, I dreaded the trip because I’m petrified of Highway 40 which is just about the only way to get to his house. However, the drive up and back proved to be one of the highlights of my trip.
The fall color was spectacular driving up, and mind-blowing on the trip home yesterday. Amazing what those trees can do in just three days! I’ve never made the trip to New England to view the fall show, but I can’t imagine that anything could be better than Tennessee in late October! It took me an extra hour on the road, because I kept stopping to take pictures.
I exited the interstate several times and drove through little villages where the residents go all out in Halloween decorations. My favorite was a display of ghosts dancing in the yard – nearby was a covey of witches around a caldron. They were constructed from a simple length of rebar, stuck in the ground and draped with white (ghosts) and black (witches) fabric. Inexpensive witches hats had been plopped atop the black fabric and they looked just like the real thing.
I don’t go for the tombstone thing or headless people dripping in blood – unless you don’t want trick or treaters to stop by.
The sky seemed bluer, the air fresher, and my depression caused by 30 plus days of rain lifted completely. I put my Sirius Radio on the Elvis station and had the time of my life singing along. The speeding truckers even seemed less obnoxious.
Although Jack Frost gets most of the credit, the scientific reason for our beautiful fall foliage is a process called photoperiodism. As the sun moves farther south, the hours of daylight shorten and the temperatures fall. This causes leaves to cease production of chlorophyll, the chemical that colors leaves green.
Each fall, leaves turn breathtaking shades of orange, purple, red, yellow and brown in a fantastic show of nature’s glory. But why do leaves change color? As the chlorophyll disappears, the underlying colors of the leaves are unmasked. The next strongest pigment becomes dominant giving the leaves a “new” color. And for my taste, the BEST color in the entire year!
Truly, my spirits soared as I drove along – didn’t even want the trip to end. I did some serious thinking and made some decisions I’d been needing to make. I highly recommend a trip to Nashville to cure whatever’s ailing you.
The rest of the story:
The entire vacation was delicious – especially the 3 million, 500 thousand calories I consumed as we went restaurant hopping around the city.
The only bad experience occurred as I reentered Mississippi. I stopped for a cup of coffee and decided to clean out my vehicle. Unfortunately I had my wallet in my hand and dumped it along with the trash. A nice man volunteered to go in the dumpster and retrieve it for me. This morning I awoke with a sore throat which I’m sure came along with the contaminated wallet.
Did you know? A swine flu germ can live on a dollar bill for 17 days! That’ll make you want to go wash your hands! I’m going to try to run my wallet through the dish washer!