Our Spring was taken from us; we were confined. Then Summer coasted by with drive-thru windows. Now it is Fall and we wonder what exactly will befall us? We can’t take it; we won’t let it happen. Fall is one of those in between times not too cold, not too hot. We can still eat outside and enjoy it. Most of the birds have taken off for a warmer vacation. The flies are not bothering us, nor the mosquitos. The harvest is here with the smell of green chile roasting in the air. Pumpkins and the maze at Moriarty allow kids to pick and choose what they will be slicing up in about three weeks. The autumn colors are not hidden. The yellow aspens are on the mountain and the cottonwoods along the river are stretching and getting ready for Winter’s slumber. Our new facemasks resemble an eternal Halloween party. All right, Fall!

We were sad that the International Balloon Festival was cancelled. The sky is lonely, just blue, without them. It is already a fact that door to door treats will not be. There will be no Halloween or Fall Carnivals in churches or neighborhoods. Ah, well. It harkens back to ancient Greece and Rome which had an incident we now blame for Fall and Winter.

You see, the ancient people divided up the rule of the known world. Zeus (Jupiter if you’re Roman), Poseidon (Neptune), and Hades (Pluto), were all brothers, gods of a sort. They divided the world up into three parts. Zeus would rule the sky and all that was part of it, the sun, the stars, the moonlight. Zeus was the kind of god that used a lot of moonlight to woo his girlfriends. Oh, I may have forgotten to mention, Zeus was married to Hera. (Story for another time.) Poseidon, a beach boy kind of guy, got the oceans, lakes, rivers. He was all wet. His wife, Amphitrite, liked to swim as well. And, late to the party from sleeping with no alarm clock, Hades, new Ruler of the Underworld. He was the keeper of souls and laws that pertained to them. It was not hell, let me repeat, it was not hell, but it was dark. This was before incandescent lights. He was very lonely with no wife. Maybe that’s why he was sneaking a peep at Persephone. She was the daughter of Demeter, who controlled all the crops and seasons. Persephone was picking flowers one day and Hades decided to ask her out on a date. He appeared and kidnapped her, promising to take her to a drive-in movie in his chariot. Having watched every episode of Happy Days, she decided to stay. Her mother, on the other hand, was frantic. She withheld her bounty, the Earth went from Fall to Winter, and people starved. Zeus made a deal with Demeter to return Persephone to Earth—if she had not eaten anything while in the Underworld. Hades felt it was unfair to lose Persephone since she had begun to dig being a Queen. He gave his wife a pomegranate as a going-away gift. She was so thrilled to see a plant from home, having only been offered TV dinners in the underworld, she ate six seeds. Zeus made the ruling that the Queen of Spring would spend six months with Demeter and six months with Hades. Thus, we have Fall. And you can buy pomegranates in the fall, as well as fine new crop of apples.

To get you through these chilly nights, pop some popcorn, get a good spooky movie on TV, and use this recipe, my secret special recipe for a great fall dip for apples.

Apple Special Dip: One block of cream cheese, softened on the counter, one container of marshmallow cream, carefully heated just barely in the microwave or on the counter. One teaspoon of cinnamon, and a half teaspoon of nutmeg. Whip together, chill and enjoy. Cut up apples and dip away. My brother eats it with potato chips. Don’t you dare! Roaring Mouse, a little sticky, and wishing you a Happy Fall, out.

Jo White
Jo White

From 1966 to 1971, Jo attended the University of New Mexico and Memphis State University, earning degrees in Communications, English, Journalism, Speech and Drama with history minors. At UNM, her hero was Tony Hillerman. She taught high school and middle school in city, country, and private schools for 30 years. Roaring Mouse is in its 25 th year. She can be reached at jomouse@aol.com