Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Autumn is awesome

Autumn is awesome!

There are pumpkins on the side of the road for jack-o-lanterns or pies. There are squash of so many varieties, along with gourds for decorating, corn shocks, potatoes, cabbage, rutabagas and all of the fall vegetables harvested and ready for eating. Fall is here and the growing season is just about over.

This is the time for a trip into the hills to enjoy the scenic beauty.

Gone are the days when you could drive out into the country and find corn shocks the farmers would gladly give you. They are no longer stacked into bundles in the field and now they are being offered for sale if you want them for decorating your house on Halloween. Times change, the stalks are chopped or cut in the field and taken out in wagons for storage.

You can now take the kids and go off to the apple orchard for your supply of apples. It’s a great family adventure especially for the younger kids to get a ride on the apple wagon towed by the tractor to the orchard to pick your own apples. And this is also a great treat for the kids to go to the pumpkin field to pick out their own pumpkin to take home and carve. Taking the children to these places is a learning experience, one they won’t forget.

You know what is also great? When you visit one of these outdoor trips you pack a lunch for a “late” summer picnic. There are so many places along the roads for you to stop for picnics. The rolling hills on Route 20 have drive-off areas with tables if you don’t want to “rough” it and spread a blanket for your lunch. The fall is a great time for a last summer picnic. If you have been to the apple orchard and if they have a cider mill you might be able to have apple cider for your beverage.

Another family outing is to go “nutting.” If you know where there are nut trees growing or have friends or family who can direct you to places where gathering nuts is fun. There are trees growing along roads and for all outward appearances belonged to those who wish to gather them. We used to and then spread them in the upper story of our barn to dry. Many a cold winter’s night we spent in the kitchen while my poppa cracked them on a brick held between his knees and we kids and Mom picked the meat out of the shell and put them in glass jars for cookies, cakes, frosting and fudge.

Group of us gals who were into Scouts, 4-H or just had hobbies and gathered wildflowers and weeds to dry and then either painted for the holidays or shellac the naturals and used in our children groups to make gifts for the holidays. Kids loved to make their own creations for their family and relatives. Budgets were small and the materials were free for the gathering.

Yes, fall is awesome. The days are crisp, sunshiny and cool. The football games bring out all those people you haven’t seen all summer. There are tailgate parties at some of the games and you get to visit with people you haven’t seen since last fall’s football games, and it makes you have a good feeling. “To everything there is a season” and autumn is just one. It is one of the beautiful times.

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