The Promise of Autumn

Over the holidays I re-read one of my favorite books, Robert Ruark’s The Old Man’s Boy Grows Older. In this classic sequel to The Old Man and the Boy, Ruark reminisces about hunting and fishing with his grandfather in Brunswick County in the early part of the last century. He shares with his readers many of the lessons he learned from the Old Man. One Chapter was devoted to an examination of the month of August. Ruark wrote that by August he was tired of mosquitoes, crowded beaches, and hot asphalt. But he compared August to Christmas Eve because it held the “promise of autumn” and the “breathless excitement of what is just around the corner.” Even if the fall and winter didn’t work out as expected, at least he experienced the anticipation of what was to come. August is for planning. But a lot of people choose to live their lives as if September will never come. If you don’t prepare, you may be too late. When you are served with a lawsuit, it’s too late to put your farm in that LLC you’ve been talking about forming. When your cognitive abilities are significantly altered by dementia, it’s too late to prepare a power of attorney or living trust. When you are killed in car wreck it is too late to buy that million-dollar life insurance policy you have been thinking about or form a trust to protect your daughter’s inheritance from her fiancée. Great things are probably in store for you this year. But you owe it to yourself and your family to prepare for what might go wrong.