Yes, summer has faded away all too soon. But I haven’t put away the golf clubs just yet, hoping for some warm Indian Summer Saturdays to take that last swing of the year. While summer is easy living, fall brings peaceful contentedness. The days are growing shorter and shorter and the crispness in the air makes me long for comfort food – a pot of spicy chili simmering on the stove, hot, bubbling apple crisp topped with whipped cream and the aroma of a pot roast slow-cooking in the crock pot surrounded by potatoes, onions and carrots in rich, savory gravy. And I love the fall activities that have become family traditions – the annual trek to the apple orchard for crisp, cold cider, warm sugary doughnuts and juicy red apples; getting lost in a corn maize and taking a hay ride.
I love making homemade popcorn balls for my grandkids on Halloween and picking out the perfect pumpkins. I love watching them carve scary faces, roasting pumpkin seeds that have been scooped out by little hands and the bewitching glow of jack-o-lanterns lining the porch steps. I have a pile of wood sitting by the fire place in anticipation of an evening chill when I can sit for a minute by the fire, relax and read a book. Most of all, in the fall I love the sound of the falling leaves crunching under my feet and the brilliant display of color as the trees burst into deep rusty red, orange and yellow hues.
What is your favorite fall memory? Mine takes me back a few years to a trip I took to visit my daughter and grandkids when they lived in Traverse City. The sun was shining and the sky was a startling, vivid blue. As I got off the M-15 exit toward Cadillac, I could barely keep my eyes on the road because the colors of the leaves on the trees dancing in the sunlight were so stunningly beautiful. I couldn’t stop smiling the whole way there! When I arrived at my daughter’s home, the yard was overflowing with fallen leaves. We raked them into huge piles and watched as the kids jumped and played, screaming with joy. The following day, cameras in hand, we took our own fall color tour up a winding road on the Old Mission Peninsula. It was one of those rare autumn days when the thermometer reaches 70 degrees. For hours we drove around the peninsula, stopping to take pictures and drink in the view of the glorious fall colors reflecting onto Lake Michigan. We stopped at an orchard on the way home to buy apples, my mind on the apple crisp I would make for dessert that evening.
The next day, my grandsons were wound up tighter than a clock in anticipation of putting on their Halloween costumes for trick-or-treat. Let me tell you, no one does Halloween like Downtown Traverse City! It looked like a scene from a movie. The huge historic homes that line the streets were decorated; thousands (yes, thousands) of children and adults wearing every imaginable costume trudged the streets, and candy was given away out of bushel baskets. It was quite the experience. As I headed home after three days of fun, I was once again treated to the stunning view of the fall colors, this time as the sun was setting. Yes, indeed; it was a beautiful sight. Fall is truly glorious!