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A Harvest of Joy

October 14, 2011

     The combines have been busy at work all week.  The golden fields of corn and soybeans are being harvested.  I have one more good picking of tomatoes for the season and apples and pumpkins are plentiful and everywhere.  The harvests that the fall months provide are so much richer than the grains, fruits and vegetables.  If we slow down and take the time we can have a harvest of joy.

     Autumn is a glorious season, rich with colors and activities to draw friends and family near.  Striking blue skies are a magnificent backdrop for trees rich with color and activities that define autumn; campfires surrounded by outreached marshmallows, pumpkin patches littered with happy families choosing the biggest and the roundest, orchards filled with the aroma of fresh cider,  corn mazes creaking and cracking in the breeze, wagons filled with bales of hay and laughing children, football games filled with cheering crowds and warm blankets, children squealing with delight as they leap into piles of crunchy leaves.  These are but a few of the autumn traditions that are over far too quickly.

     Far too soon the leaves will lie like gold upon the ground.  The air will turn cold and our breath will appear in little white puffs.  Frost will greet us in the morning and the activities will come indoors.  But if you are wise you will gather one more harvest before the season is over.  Gather a harvest of joy.

     Think back to your fondest autumn childhood memories.  Our children too need to look back one day with warm and fond memories of a glorious season.  I think we all can remember jumping into a least one pile of leaves.   For our family leaf raking is a term that brings dread and the threat of revolt.  Although it calls for a herculean effort from the entire family and quite often our friends, I still have many funny and fond memories of our family leaf raking marathons. 

     When I was a child in Nevada, we traveled to Utah for a camping trip, at least two different autumns.  The cottonwoods and aspens were incredible to see and I will never forget the rustling sound of those leaves as the wind blew us to sleep.  Then on the way home we would find the perfect pumpkin at a country roadside stand.

     When my boys were young we took an old passenger train ride called the “Pumpkin Train.”  We went with another family and enjoyed the fall scenery as the train made its way to a pumpkin patch.  There, we got out, found the perfect pumpkins then enjoyed the trip back again.  It was a wonderful day.

     We are in the midst of a beautiful fall.  The temperatures and colors are wonderful and refreshing.  So this weekend, take the family and go on a nature hike.  Make sure your gaze is up as you walk.  Build a campfire in your backyard, metal fire pit, or nearby park.  Grab a bag of those oversized marshmallows and spend some time roasting a little taste of heaven.   Jump in the car and drive to the nearest pick your own orchard, pumpkin patch, corn maze or hay ride. Sit on the bank of your favorite fishing spot and enjoy the golden reflection.  Saddle up for a trail ride among the fall colors.  Gather the family and create an assembly line of apple sauce producers.  Take the time to harvest some joy.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Bobbi permalink
    October 14, 2011 9:54 am

    I have no memories of Fall as a child. . .Texas is pretty stable with the temps and pine trees don’t loose their leaves. **sniff** LOL Oh well, we’re never too old to make memories! Lovely blog! Wonderful word pictures!

  2. October 14, 2011 10:45 am

    We raked up 2 feet thick sheets of leaves. They’d have SNAKES under them! But Dad had hot chocolate inside waiting (he waited ’til it was cold and ALL the leaves were down and packed tight and wet). Dad put bad tires on the huge mounds of leaves to keep it burning. Gloves were a luxury, so we all had blisters on blisters.
    But, FOND memories? Walking through the damp low areas AFTER the work was done! Walking a forest with Dad and having him praise me for spying squirrels before he saw them with “Hey, you’ve got eagle eyes”. Coming home to dead deer hanging up in the garage knowing I’d be helping my butcher dad wrap that beast. The men coming in with dead wobbly necked ducks and showing me their beautiful feathers and coloring. Hot chocolate in the duckblind and my first hoho (Dad’s friend brought extras). Dad’s pancakes at the cottage…oh, THE BEST! Fires in the pot bellystove before we built the fieldstone fireplace. Mom putting a sweater on and lifting her feet up off the cold floor cuddling down with a book. The crocheted afghan’s warmth over Mom and me. Making bread and setting the loaves ALL OVER the house to raise. Mom delighting over cardinals…now, my delight. My brown corduroys and flannel shirt that fit perfect…I lived in them. Socks with holes because they were cuter than the ones that were the wrong color…who cared if my feet were cold? Traveling on the bus to football games even though my boyfriend drove…Dad wouldn’t let me ride. Caring parents. Thanks for making me remember…GOOD memories.~ I love autumn.

    • October 14, 2011 10:58 pm

      What a blessing it was to read your comment. What a rich childhood. Thank you for sharing everything!

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