Thursday, October 1, 2009

Falling for the Seasons

It is officially fall! Living here in the DC Metro area, the weather can sometimes contradict the calendar. It is not unusual to see schoolchildren in shorts and T's in October. But not today. Today it feels like fall and I love it! I love the changing of the seasons, but I especially love fall. The cool crisp air, apples and pumpkins, the celebrations, the smell of freshly sharpened pencils and the colors. I really love the colors, because fall looks good on me! I am so lucky, most people have a color or two that they look good in, but I am lucky enough to have a whole season that matches me! (I am not being conceited, just truthful.) So, naturally I love this season. I even sleep better in the fall. When we can open the windows and the temperature dips down to 48 during the night, sleep comes easily and relatively peacefully for me.
When I was younger and living in NJ, my family would often take a trip to the apple orchard in the fall. Back then, when we went to the orchard we were given a basket or two and an apple picker thingy. It was a long armed pole with a small wire basket at the end that had 'fingers' attached that could help you pick the apple from the tree. We loved to go! My sisters and brothers and I would traipse through the orchard and look for a tree or two that looked full and go to town. We'd pick and climb the trees and eat an apple here and there. Our younger sisters were sometimes lifted up to reach an apple from the tree, but more often than not they picked from the ground. Our cheeks got red and our hands got cold, but we had some fun. Imagine my surprise when after moving down here and hoping to share that experience with my children we went to the orchard and simply bought our apples. Such a disappointment!
But, we do get to pick pumpkins. The farmers that grow pumpkins and corn open their farms up to allow us to pick our own pumpkins from the patch. In addition to the alure of pumpkins, they ripen the pot with pony rides, corn mazes, pumpkin blasters, hay rides and all sorts of other fun stuff for families to have fun with. Of course, all this novelty does not come cheap! Some farms charge as much as 6 or 8 dollars just to go through the gates. Then you pay for the pony rides, corn mazes, and the pumpkins themselves. Most of the farms offer soft drinks and/or food, so there is that expense as well-if you choose to eat or drink.
Last weekend we took Bella to Jumbo's in Middletown. This farm doesn't charge to get in, the hay ride is free and we had a coupon from the paper for a free pony ride. We really had a nice time. Near the entrance to the farm, just inside the gates they had three small pens that each held a newborn calf. One was probably no more than a day or two old and he was so cute, chocolate brown with deep black eyes. So cute!
But what made this pumpkin patch so special was the people who worked at this farm. They were out to help make the day a special one to the kids. When Bella went for her pony ride, the lady there introduced her to the horse and let Bella pet him. She asked Bella if she had ridden before and talked to her during the ride as well. When we climbed up on the tractor for the hay ride out to the pumpkin patch, the lady there commented on the fact that Bella and I were dressed for the patch (we both had orange on) and joked with Jim about his choice of a burgundy shirt. And I soon found that their enthusiasm was contagious. Other guests seemed friendlier than usual. I was strolling through their craft shop singing along with the radio when I noticed other people singing out loud as well! It was so nice! And it was a lesson learned, and a good one at that. Enthusiasm is contagious! So I am going to try to be more enthusiastic in my approach to life from now on, and if you don't like it-well just don't tell me!

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