Story over a cup: Fall and the first mud of the season

Published 12:36 pm Sunday, October 27, 2019

Michael Cole

There is nothing like Fall in Texas.

I understand that Fall is a beautiful experience in places like Michigan or New England. However, in Texas, it is more of prying summer’s grip from the thermostat for a few days.

The Fall color foliage of bright reds, yellows, and oranges as the leaves fall from the trees in other places is the stuff that postcards and calendars are made of. 

In Texas, I think it is more heat exhaustion than anything else causing the leaves to fall.

I saw on the news that it was snowing in Amarillo. Yeah, the Panhandle of Texas does get snow regularly.

Here we get mud.

In fact, as I am writing this, the first mud fall of the holiday season is upon us. Chilly temperatures and rain.

Ah, the stuff right out of Currier and Ives.

Before too long we will be forced to walk in the house with cozy socks, not out of a holiday tradition, but because our shoes are covered in layers of mud and we do not want to track that through the house.

Any day now, I am going to set our Jack-O-Lantern on the front porch. I switched to a plastic one, not out of convenience, but because after the rain and the heat, and the mud, the bright orange festive look of Jack was a sick, moldy green.

That brings back memories of Thanksgiving break as a child and all the mudball fights and building a mudman in the front yard.

As you become an adult, you see less humor in it.

It is a chore of trying to find that place to park in your driveway where you don’t sink in the mud. We have a car and a truck, and a driveway with space for one. So, with the other we spend the winter trying to make sure that the truck doesn’t find a mudpuddle and sink like the Titanic.

Not enough lifeboats are on the truck either.

Then there are the boys, Bernie, Roswell, and Bill. 

They hate water, instead of spanking them, we have a water gun we use on them. Just the sight of it makes them scatter.

They run for the hills when bath time is announced.

They love the mud.

All I need to do is open the door during the fall mud season and in no time flat, they are frolicking and playing about, going mud puddle to mud puddle until they are covered.

And then they run back into the house and bless the furniture with their paw prints.

Then scatter when they hear the bathwater running.

Yes, as I write this, I am thinking somewhat fondly of the mud season in Texas.

Before too long Santa will be arriving in his monster truck to deliver presents.

A monster truck you say? Of Course. 

This is Texas and a sleigh will get stuck in the mud.  Besides, ever since someone tried to bag some of Santa’s Reindeer for Christmas, he has avoided a sleigh in Texas.

It is hunting season after all.


Michael Cole is a syndicated columnist that when he is not writing, he is plotting global domination. You can follow him at