I have a favorite memory from childhood. It involves leaves, fire, eating, family, cool weather, work, and last but not least, potatoes. I spent the first six years of my life in Salt Lake City, UT. Every fall my parents, two younger siblings, and I would rake the lawn, piling the leaves into the street gutter. We’d each then bury a potato in the bottom of the pile and set the leaves on fire. Yes, they were allowed to burn the leaves in the middle of the city back then. While the leaves burned we’d go off and do other things – I can’t remember what exactly. I do remember waiting rather impatiently for the potatoes to cook so we could eat them. Sometimes we’d take them inside and eat them with all the fixings. Other times we’d devour them right on the front lawn using our hands. I’ve often wondered why this particular memory is so fresh in my mind. I like to think it was the fun we had working together and the unusual way our afternoon would end. Who knew you could bake a potato while you burned a pile of leaves?
The smells, sounds, and sights from that memory contribute to my overall appreciation for autumn, my favorite season of the year.
I love witnessing the color transformation of leaves to deep reds, browns, oranges, golden yellows, and fading greens – my favorite colors. Around these parts there aren’t many trees but the golden flowers of rabbitbrush can be just as beautiful out in the desert sand.
I look forward to all things pumpkin: pie, bars, sheet cake, soup, muffins, cookies, and jack-o-lanterns. We grew Jack-Be-Little pumpkins this year to use in decorating for fall. I can’t wait until it’s time to carve pumpkins and toast seeds again.
The smells of cinnamon, cloves, and apples are heavenly! Whenever I can get bushels of apples I enjoy canning apple pie filling. Sometime I want to get an apple press and make apple cider with my children.
The law of the harvest is brought to pass. Seeds sown in spring and early summer are now mature plants with fruits and vegetables ready to be gathered in. “For whatesoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7) It feels good to restock my pantry with beautiful jars of jams, fruit, and tomatoes and my freezer with peaches for smoothies, corn, and green beans.
I enjoy curling up in a blanket out in the cool night air with a mug of hot cocoa or wassail in my hands. It’s even better when I can hear the laughter of my children as they try to get in a few more minutes of kick-the-can before bedtime.
Summer’s hard working days give way to a more leisurely work schedule here on the farm. There is still a lot of work to do but it is not at a frenetic pace.
Yes, I love autumn!
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