Yesterday afternoon, I asked myself a question for which I didn’t have an answer. My not having an answer is the reason the question came to mind. The question is this: “What term is the equivalent of spring fever in the fall?” I don’t know what label you wrap around it to effectively capture he concept, but experientially I am in the midst of such an occurrence.
Yesterday as I was inching my car down MoPac making my way homeward, a man who was the lone occupant in his vehicle passed me on the left. Actually, it didn’t happen that quickly. He’d inch forward and then lag behind as the traffic in front of him came to a halt. I was duplicating the same experience in the right lane. My heart skipped a beat when I looked at the car he was driving. There was no mistake about it. It was a 1957 Ford Fairlane. The color was baby blue with a white top. Can you believe it?
I glanced at the driver each time his car inched passed me. He was probably in his mid-fifties and appeared to be wearing a baseball cap. Who knows? It could have been a “gimme cap” from anywhere, but it looked like a baseball cap. Whether it was purposeful or otherwise, the man’s posture captured that “I’m super cool, don’t you think” look. The guy’s head was tilted back a little. Both the passenger front door window and the driver’s door window were rolled down. His left hand was on the steering wheel and his right arm rested across the top of the front seat. Yep, he looked super cool!
When he finally made it completely around me, I had the thought: “Why don’t I do that?” I couldn’t think of a reason not to, so I did. I rolled all of the car windows down with a flip of the window switch. I also opened the sunroof. The sensation of air hitting me in the face was refreshing. Why didn’t I think about doing that earlier? It was just what I needed for my equivalent of a spring fever in the fall experience.
I even attempted to imitate that “I’m super cool, don’t you think” look, but I didn’t have a cap and it hurt my neck to cock it back in an uncomfortable position. Maybe it’s just not in the cards that I look super cool. Yet, I’m not going to give up trying as long as it doesn’t hurt.
Memories from long ago of driving with the windows down, my left elbow resting on the frame of the open window on the driver’s side with the radio blaring were vivid. Seldom if ever were you the lone occupant of the car. Well, I guess technically, as long as it took you to get from your house to a friend’s to pick up a passenger or a date, you were alone. In the neighborhood where I grew up, it didn’t take long to get to anyone’s house, so the social isolation was very brief.
Out of curiosity, I did a Google search for: “The equivalent of spring in the fall.” I located a couple of references that were outside the norm of what I expected to find. For starters, I found a song sung by Cathy DeWitt entitled: “(I get) Spring Fever In The Fall. I located the sound track and listened to the song. It is well done and captures some of the triggers that promote a feeling of spring fever in the fall.
Advancing the search by one more reference, I found this one dated September 28, 2016: Craigslist – “Spring Fever In Fall” heading – “I have the need for all things physical. Times are tough and they are lonely. Is there someone else in the same position?” I didn’t click on the link, but the caption caught my attention. The phrase “times are tough and they are lonely” reminded me of a conversation I had with someone a couple of weeks ago. He didn’t express it in those words, but at the end of the day it probably summarizes what he is feeling.
I was talking with an new friend that I don’t know that well and he asked: “Does your family have big plans for Thanksgiving?” I answered that we didn’t. I simply said: “We usually have folks come to our home. I’m sure that we will do that again this year, but we really haven’t talked about it. We are home base for lots of folks.”
Actually, my doctor asked me that same question yesterday afternoon. I basically gave her the same response: “We don’t have big plans. We are staying home, but we’ve got a houseful of folks coming.” She smiled and said, “Then the answer is “Yes – You have big plans for Thanksgiving.” I guess I’d never thought of it like that.
At any rate, getting back to the man that asked a couple of weeks before: “Does your family have big plans for Thanksgiving?”, I asked him about his plans. He said: “I haven’t figured it out yet. My son and I have options, but I don’t yet know what we’re going to do.”
The man was then silent for a few moments and looked as though he was lost in thought. It was almost as if his countenance had become pensive. He then said: “I’ve always gone home for Thanksgiving. My mother died the day after Thanksgiving last year, so I’m kind of at a loss related to plans for this year. I’ve got extended family in New Mexico where she lived, but I’m not sure I’m ready to return knowing she won’t be there. My son and I will do something.”
Actually, “Times are tough and they are lonely” for a lot of people that I know this year. I suspect that the same is true for you. A word of encouragement and hope would probably be very well received and appreciated. Coming along side people at the point of need minimizes the aloneness and offers a ray of encouragement and hope. What better way to embrace them and the spirit of Thanksgiving?
All My Best!