FIRST WORLD SEASONS - 24/10/2005 <--Prev : Next-->
Life in the First World always staggers me when I compare it with our
own lives in Zimbabwe.
We have had occasion to visit Texas again recently and one of the
first things that struck me, if not THE first thing, was the absence
of the ubiquitous plastic bags and super cool packets that festoon
our streets back home.
Don't get me wrong, I love Bulawayo with all my heart but there is
life out there and its rather nice too !!
One of the nicest things that the USA has that we do not have in
Zimbabwe, is seasons. We have summer and winter only, it is Fall
right now in the USA and it is stunning.
There are also different shopping seasons too which really appeal to
me (as long as you avoid doing the conversion thing )
I am told that there are one hunderd and thirty thousand Zim dollars
to one US dollar on the "parralel" market (well thats the rate as I
write this little missal !!It will change n the next few hours I am
October is the Halloween shopping season in the USA. The stores are
full of ghouls, ghosties, goblins and bright orange pumpkins.
Scarecrows glare at you coyly from every garden nook and cranny.
Skeletons hang menacingly amidst the purple cobwebs in most American
porches and there are special houses that are prepared as "Haunted
Houses" that you can visit and get the frights of your life !!
Great fields of enormous bright orange pumpkins are grown especially
just for Halloween and the flowers that you buy for the house are
tastefully selected in orange, purple and yellow, this years
Halloween colours !!
Of course the most decorative season is Christmas (although it is not
going to be called Christmas season for much longer if the appalling
anti Christmas activists have their way), now it is deemed
politically correct to call it the "Holiday Season" (cough splutter
Easter is another of the big buying and selling seasons, Thanksgiving
is another, Super Bowl fever also makes money for the retailers and
of course the 4th of July. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month
and so everything one buys or wears is pink ! And of course you only
wear green in March for St Patrick's Day !!
Valentines Day of course is a big money spinner and people even
decorate their houses in red and white and if you go out to dinner on
Valetine's night, be sure to wear red won't you !!
The gardens in Texas are mostly unfenced, beautifully tended and
neat, but flowers are not a big part of a Texas garden. Mainly
because the heat kills them in summer and the snow kills them in
A few homes sport pansies and petunias, but the weather is so radical
that gardening is not a favourite occupation. Temperatures can reach
104 degrees farenheit (40 degrees centigrade) in summer and the
summer lasts a long time !! Then in winter you are below freezing for
much of the time.
And so the penchant develops, I suppose, for decorating the garden
with pumpkins in October, Christmas trees and Santas in December,
harvesty looking decor at Thanksgiving and Easter bunnies in April or
The American public is so delightfully patriotic!! Patriotism any
form always brings a lump to my throat and I always cry when anyone
sings a national anthem. I still feel like standing to attention
when I hear "God Save the Queen" but of course the anthem that is the
most poignant of all is our own "Blessed be the Land of Zimbabwe".
All Zimbabwe families should possess a Zimbabwe Flag (and of course a
Highlanders Flag !!)
Many American homes fly the American Star Spangled Banner all year
round with fervent patriotism. It is customary to fly the United
States flag only during daylight. However, if a patriotic effect is
intended, the flag may be flown twenty-four hours a day, provided it
is properly illuminated at night.
Whole reams of instructions on the correct Flag Ettiquette can be
found and it makes quite interesting reading. There are also about
twenty five designated "Flag Days" where ardent patriots make sure
their flag is raised appropriately!
Some of the flag days include New Year's Day, Martin Luther King's
Birthday, Abraham Lincoln s Birthday, George Washington's Birthday,
St. Patrick s Day, Armed Forces Day, Father s Day, Independence
Day, Labor Day , Patriot Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day and of
course Christmas Day (sorry I mean Happy Holiday Day !!)
I must admit I still prefer my garden to a Texas garden. I love a
garden full of flowers and shrubs all year round even if you cannot
see it for the electric fence, the ten foot wall and the razor wire !!