Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News

Walter Albritton

October 10, 2004


Autumn leaves falling make this a special time of the year


          Autumn leaves are falling. Hallelujah! A special time of the year has begun, and I love it.

          Pumpkins are everywhere. I like pumpkin pie, and I like the way Dean decorates the house as the time of the Great Pumpkin nears. Somewhere there will be a big pumpkin that she purchased.

          Cotton seems plentiful, and ready to pick. In our part of the world, there are beautiful fields of cotton all around. I wonder why the farmers wait so long to pick the cotton. Perhaps the hurricanes have caused the delay.

          Hay baling continues. My brother Seth has been baling a lot of hay lately. The hurricanes messed up his hay baling schedule. Still he figures to bale the hay he needs for his cows, and his customers, within the next two weeks. I enjoy watching farmers gather the hay they need for their livestock during the winter months.

          When the leaves are falling, the men and boys play football. Baseball may be the national pastime, but I prefer football. I get to watch a lot of football games this fall and most of the games are not on television. Watching your grandsons play football is one of life’s great rewards.

          Josh is 9 and plays quarterback for his Wetumpka team. Can you believe that he is a veteran? He has been playing on a team for at least two or three years. I bought him an “authentic” NFL football the other day. I hope they let him use it in one of his games. He convinced me that it is a very special football, just like the professionals use. I cannot help but wonder if the NFL buys their footballs from Wal-Mart.

          Jake is 12 and quite big for his age. He plays on the Junior Varsity team for his school. Though a seventh grader, Jake plays on the first team alongside older boys, even tenth graders. He plays tackle on defense and he is improving every week.

          Fortunately for Grandma and me, Jake plays on Tuesday nights and Josh plays on Saturday afternoons. That gives us a chance to see Robert and Joseph play on Friday nights. Robert is a senior and plays linebacker for Jemison High School. He likes to hit, and he must have made 15 tackles last Friday night when his team beat Livingston 54 to 22.

          Joseph is an eleventh grader and starts at fullback for the Victory Baptist Eagles. His team plays eight-man football. Evidently this style permits more offense. Joseph’s team lost a barn burner on the last play of a game recently, 54-53. I had never before witnessed a football game in which 107 points were scored.

          Joseph is also the place kicker for his team and he makes more extra points than he misses. Last week he kicked 6 out of 8 through the cross bars. Like Robert, he is quick, and a tough player.

          My wife says that is something no one ever said about me when I played high school football. She is right. No one ever accused me of being quick or tough, though I did enjoy playing. I still remember the first time the coach ever let me line up as a starter on the kick-off team.

          We have to alternate weekends watching Robert and Joseph since both play on Friday nights. Either way, we enjoy being with family and cheering our grandsons on to victory.

          My brother is an avid Auburn fan like me, so we watched Auburn beat Tennessee at his home. What a game! The neighbors must have thought Seth was beating his wife the way we were yelling, but that was one sweet victory.

          We agreed that we would get together again to watch the Auburn-Georgia game. We are not superstitious if our being together helped the Tigers beat the Volunteers, then we will definitely try to bring the same luck to Auburn when they take on the Bulldogs. We owe David Greene a loss anyway as payback for the game he stole from us with that end zone touchdown pass completion.

          Some cynic will be thinking that what I really like about the fall is football, not the falling autumn leaves. That may be true. Actually, the leaves really do not bother me that much. Some of my friends rake up the leaves as soon as they fall. They love a lawn without leaves, but not me.

          My theory is simple. If God did not want leaves on the lawn, he would not make so many and let them fall in such great numbers. I figure the dear leaves are God’s way of fertilizing the grass. So, after they hide my grass for a few weeks, I mulch them with my lawn mower and wait for a good rain to push them down into the soil. Next spring, the grass is greener.

          My good friend Grady Rowell rakes his leaves, hauls them off, and burns them. He is patient, however. He rakes a few today, and a few more tomorrow, so he never burns out in this battle with the falling leaves.

          Grady is a thinker, something of a country philosopher. Recently he came up with a grand theory, prompted by all the leaf-raking he had to do because of hurricane Ivan. His theory has merit for all those who take leaf-raking seriously: 

          “We can overcome any problem if we do a little bit everyday toward overcoming the problem, provided that the little bit we do each day is greater than the rate of increase of the problem.” 

          Now that is impressive! For a moment I thought I might need to change my mind about raking leaves, and try Grady’s theory.

          My better judgment took over, however. I decided to let the beautiful leaves keep falling while I do something more important.

          See you at the football game! + + + +