This time of the year is always my favorite. For some it may seem cold and drab and just down right gloomy and depressing. Yes, there are those days. But if you look past those days, and take a moment to be still, you can almost see the trees turning beautiful colors right in front of you. Feel the magic in actually seeing the leaves gently fall to the ground.
For me, fall signifies not only my birthday month (end of September), but it holds two big annual events that I hold near and dear to my heart….harvest and state marching band competitions.
I know the two don't even compare, but being a band geek I long for the Saturday that I get to work a state marching band coopetition as the official photographer. This year I lucked out and I get to work three different competitions on three different weekends. The only thing that puts icing on this cake is that I get to enjoy the joys of marching band WITHOUT the early morning band practices.
I remember waking up at 6 a.m. to get ready for school, hit the road for the field and get to the football practice field by 6:45 a.m. sharp. Luckily, growing up on a farm early mornings wasn't anything new.
There were times we marched in early morning dew, mist and snow all to get ready for a competition. The snow day, that was the day I think I lost my shoe trying to get into a formation. Then there were the cold, and I mean cold mornings when you made sure to warm up your mouth piece before you tried to toot your horn. I was a trumpet player. And loved it. But if you forget to warm up your mouth piece before sticking it to your lips to play, it made for a sore rest of the day.
So this past weekend, I drove up to Sheldon, Iowa where I was the official photographer for the Iowa State Marching Band Competition they had there. Even though I do this only once a year, I forgot how much fun it is to be down on the field. This year's themes seemed to revolve around James Bond movies. A bit interesting, but great to see nonetheless.
My favorite is still the drumline cadence. I could listen to that all day. Now, when I started band back in the 5th grade, I started with playing the drums. Okay, take that back. It was one drum, the snare. And I got so bored with it by the end of the year that I changed to a trumpet. But I still have an appreciation for the percussion section.
Driving back from the event, I was able to take the back roads home. Almost every field I passed, there was a combine or a tractor and wagon sitting in the field. Harvest, just like state marching band competition, is in full swing. As I head home next week to work my final band competition of the season, I will stop by the family farm to help with harvest and to catch up with family. Just in time too, for my favorite holiday…Thanksgiving.