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Elizabeth Woodworth: September is the time for new beginnings

By Elizabeth Woodworth
Contributing writer
updated: 9/4/2019 11:55 AM

Hours of sunlight decline throughout the nation. Divide perennials if needed. Select your bedding plant seeding for November and December. Have flats of pansies ready for autumn planters. Mars and Venus are too close to the setting sun for easy viewing. Jupiter, however, is prominent Evening Star, shining in Ophiuchus in the southwest. Visible at dusk in Sagittarius, Saturn follows Jupiter into the horizon after midnight. In the east near midnight, winter's Orion rises behind Taurus and the Pleiades. In the northern sky, the Big Dipper hugs the horizon. Deep in the southwest, Fomalhaut (the brightest star in the Southern Fish) hovers above the tree line. On Sept. 13, the Full Autumn Apple Picking Moon reaches apogee. (Countryside)

Coming south from town, I stopped at Granger and Raymond. Across the intersection, a cat (going east on Raymond) came off the sidewalk, strolled across the street in the crosswalk, up the little ramp and continued down the sidewalk. This was the first time I had ever seen a cat use a crosswalk. Now if we can train dogs and squirrels to do the same.

Back on my Hobby Horse. I know, and wouldn't expect, that a formal new year would start in September. But I do believe that many of us are ready for a new beginning. We have been through winter, a wet and cold spring, and summer has taken its toll. The last holiday before fall has come and gone.

Was surprised to read that the airlines were expecting the Labor Day weekend to have a larger number of passengers than ever before. I thought Labor Day was a stay at home holiday, the last weekend of grilling, picnics, swimming and boating, and kids getting to stay up after dark. It's ending the season at the Du Quoin fair, the last of the lemon shake-ups, corn dogs, and funnel cakes.

Then on Tuesday, a new season. No more lazy days, yes, the lawn will have to mowed though we can see the end of that, now it will be leaves to rake, gardens to be put to bed, summer clothes exchanged for sweaters and jackets, football, homecoming and marching bands. None of this is done in January; we are already deep into winter, longing for spring. September is the month of new.

If as you are putting your summer clothes away and going through the fall and winter ones, keep in mind that the 4Cs clothing give-a-way, held on the parking lot of the Methodist church, is coming up Oct. 9. Keep a box or bag handy; someone will be glad to have the clothing you are not going to wear. Adults and kids, someone always needs clothing. Workable appliances also will be taken.

I got word from a Harrisburg Register employee that there are hot dog stands in Chicago that sell Green River. In bottles! Two surprises: it still exists, and is not just a fountain drink.

Did you go to the Du Quoin Fair? Seems that the family, along with Mr. and Mrs. Priest, went once. Don't remember much other than we went. Ron and I also went once. We spent the time in the livestock barns and wandering through the floral hall. Am not sure that we even made it to the midway. Rides definitely are not my forte, unless it is slow-moving ponies, and adults aren't allowed to ride those. Things that go round and twirl, oh no.

I was surprised to hear on the news what it costs to go to the fair. Parking (which I thought was free); tickets are $1 for carnival rides but it takes three for a ride on the Ferris wheel, or an armband for multiple rides at $25; then food, because you can't go to a fair and not eat; tickets to the evening entertainment, etc. How can a family afford to go? I am sure cost was one reason we didn't go every year.

We did go to the Saline County Fair. Mom took us kids on Kids Day so we could ride all afternoon. Brother didn't like to ride, just wanted to spend his time and money at the shooting booths. I remember going at least once in the early evening. Us and the Priests. I don't really know what Dad and Warren did, but Mom and Noveda played bingo. We walked around and look at the floral hall exhibits. There was a booth that sold stand slaw cutters on legs that had a snap-on top for coarse to fine grating. I think it cost a dollar. I remember it well, used to help mom grate cabbage and carrots for relish. Always tried to get the last little bit of cabbage grated and invariably sliced a finger. I think it was that drop of blood mixed in that made the relish extra good.

Don't shudder; if your mom made relish, the same thing happened at your house. I still have that cutter complete with top.

"The doctor will be in to see you in two minutes." "Two minutes in real time or two minutes left in the football game time?" (Shoe).

Football season is here!

• Elizabeth Woodworth lives in Harrisburg.