And then fall happens, and I love it.
I love the fall activities. It can absolutely not be fully fall without the mandatory fall activities.
Each fall, we must go apple picking.
We have a lovely local apple orchard we visit each year. We take a tractor ride across the creek and fill buckets with lovely red and yellow streaked Honey crisp apples. The buckets fill up quickly and we find ourselves heading home with 40 pounds of apples. These are all eaten in about a week.
This year, our first hike was along the Cedar River, with its beautiful cliffs on one side and wide flat shore on the other. The narrow trails winds through the forests full of just changing leaves, taking us to scenic outlooks, me just barely keeping up with my wild boys.
Each fall, we must pick pumpkins.
We've been to several pumpkin patches in the area, but usually, we find ourselves back at the orchard where we pick apples, because it's beautiful and simple. No entrance fees, few crowds, just lovely scenery and good pumpkins. Each year, the boys want to buy bigger and bigger pumpkins that we are then required to carry up the hill to be weighed. This year, we were prepared with a wagon, only to find that the boys had still outdone themselves and the pumpkins didn't fit.
The pumpkins are now carved and settled onto the front porch.
Each fall, we must play in the leaves.
It seems that jumping into a leaf pile is a fairly small activity. But this has become an annual highlight for my children. Everyone pitches in to rake the biggest leaf pile they can, being careful to position the pile close to the backyard swing. After all the raking is done, everyone takes turn jumping in the pile. Not just little jumps, but full on run as fast as you can, and then flip or belly flop into the leaves. Swing as high as you can and then sail off into the leaves. We play in the leaves until there isn't much of a pile left.
Each fall, I'm sad to say good-bye to summer. But I'll make the best off it, eating apples, carving pumpkins, and picking leaves out of my hair.