• Sharon Shirk

15 Things I Love Most About Fall

O.K. I always go back and forth about Spring and Fall, about which one that we enjoy most. When it’s Spring, I’m sure I like Spring best and when it’s Fall, well you guessed it…of course Fall becomes BEST! And in Lancaster County … Fall is beautiful, colorful and catching. And honestly this year… that’s especially true AGAIN.

We had an early Spring and it was wet, so wet the farmer’s had a problem with getting their field work done and this summer turned out really dry and hot and then in late summer experienced a hurricane and dealt with flooding. In one week we experienced an earthquake and a hurricane – two very unexpected events in Lancaster.

We had guests one night who experienced power failure here with us, though I think for all of us it turned out to be a bit-o-fun as we watched Carl set up the generator and I lit some candled during the night in case anyone got up and needed to find their way in the darkness. We still enjoyed hot coffee and breakfast, as usual, but with some “Little-house-on-the-prairie” feel to it.

All that to say, after the unusual Spring and Summer I am thrilled to see Fall show up again and with it, 15 of the things that makes Fall in Lancaster so special:

  1. Farmer’s Fairs. Pork bbq sandwiches, funnel cakes and milk shakes in the open air. Standing in lines for this food and meeting people again that you saw there last year. Really enjoy the Lampeter Fair where my niece competes in the horse show. This year they had petting animals right there at the fair and we took Emalie (one of our GRANDdaughters) with us who couldn’t get enough of them.

  2. Pumpkins. One of my favorites is seeing the pumpkins emerging from under their green cover as the foilange drys down and the fields become dotted with orange. Love pumpkin desserts, pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin for decorating and pumpkin soup.

  1. Cooler weather. The smell of neighbors wood smoke as someone lights up their furnace for the first time. Giving in to the fireplace for coffee in the morning rather than our usual front porch setting. Feeling the “cozy” in my house again when we change the thermostat to heat.

  2. Warm clothes. I love bringing out fall outfits that haven’t been worn for quite awhile. Almost like a new wardrobe. Warmer colors, sweaters and pull overs, turtle necks and warmer jeans, and hats, and gloves and coats and scarves just in case. And did I mention boots?

  3. Flower beds. They always look a little sad but they need a rest too from all the show and tell that they did this summer. So I’m out there trimming and cleaning and cutting and covering knowing that after the long rest ahead they will be back to do it all over again. They are one of my loves and I work them carefully. Fall weather is fabulous for this job.

  4. Cleaning. Cleaning is easier in cooler weather and is a “must do” again this fall. Cleaning windows, organizing closets, and turning mattresses and washing curtains and all the extras that busier seasons don’t have time for. Cleaning and putting away is part of the fall season.

  5. Apple season. Apples are another favorite delicious fall flavor. We do applesauce and freeze it for the winter. Apple Crisp, another apple delight! And my favorite place to buy apples is Kauffman’s Fruit Farm and while we are there, we always buy cider, best in the fall season. I really don’t know what makes their cider the best, but it’s decidedly the very best tasting apple cider that I know of.

  6. Harvest. We love to watch harvest happening in the fall…we have a field here behind our property where farming is done by horses and they just harvested the corn, very fascinating every year.

  7. Mums. Mums are one of my favorite flowers, both for color and for decorating. They are a bit more work than most flowers if you have them in your yard all year because they need to be trimmed back a few times during the growing season. My Mom always said to trim them on Memorial day and again on July 4th, that would pretty much guarantee their blooming time to come as the weather changes, they just get brighter in cooler weather. And I follow those rules “cause my Mom said so.”

  8. Hot chocolate and hot tea. We do lots of iced teas in summer, But come cooler weather, nothing like a great hot chocolate in the evening by the fireplace.

  9. Hobbies and interests. My hubby loves the cool weather of fall and hunting season and the beginning of football (He’s a Packer’s man) and he starts to notice geese flying and hears the pop-pop of dove hunters. We see some small game here like squirrels and rabbits and recently we saw a fox. Every now and then we’ll see a very unwelcome ground hog.

  10. Bird watching. We set up our bird feeders and look forward to our very colorful winter friends like goldfinch and cardinals, And at the same time put away any yard decorations like solar pathway markers, and planter hooks. I leave my sunflowers in the garden for the birds as well.

  11. Holidays. Time to think about Thanksgiving and celebrating family when things slow down … We love gathering our family together for Sunday Dinner or an occasional Pizza evening. Nothing like having everyone under the same roof at the same time.

  12. Bradford Pear Trees. We have pear trees that line our driveway….another of my fall favorites. They are showy in the spring with the early white blossoms and are shelters for hundreds of birds in the summer, but in the fall, they are real show offs with their leaves in an array of color right on into Thanksgiving time. Just fantastic and bright with reds and orange and rich browns. They were planted in the spring of ’88. Last year my daughter “yarnbombed” our first tree (see photo). We got such a kick out of our festive driveway.

  1. Quiet evenings. Some of what I look forward to yet this year is time to get some pictures into books and reading more, maybe getting to bed earlier, planning for Christmas. And I want to take time to just STOP and take in the moment. To breath deep, and think and move slower, to learn to pace myself, be more curious and more fascinated about little things and tall buildings and sunsets, look at beautiful magazines and try new recipes.

And speaking of recipes, my next blog will be some favorites from my kitchen that I hope you can enjoy as well.

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