(Warning: You most definitely WILL want a cup of apple cider...or a corndog...or a funnel cake after reading this post. Just sayin...)
I'm taking a break today from renovation news (although it's going strong and even beginning to pick up its pace) to talk about the weather that is beginning to slowly permeate our area and to share the inspiration (finally!) that comes from an infusion of change taking place in the elements around me. Now that the fury of the hurricane season has subsided (at least for now), I see cool autumn starting to emerge all around us. We've had local temperatures dipping below 60 degrees in the wee hours of the morning and barely topping the mid 80's by heat of day. The humidity is down to 20 percent instead of 90. Here and there I see touches of red and gold and, even though it might be Thanksgiving before we see that real breathtaking beauty on nature's palette, every day brings hopefulness of those autumn changes that take us gently into the colder months. I am so thankful there is a gentleness in the changing of the seasons and we don't go directly from the brutal heat of summer to the bitter cold of winter. That's why autumn is my very favorite time of year. The days are warm; the sun is out against the bluest of blue skies; and there is a nip in the air!
As a young family, we tried most falls to take a trip to the mountains to experience the cool, the color, and the majesty that is the Great Smoky Mountains in autumn. It was so invigorating to put on our layers and walk the streets of Gatlinburg, Tennessee (our usual destination) as we drew inspiration that followed us right into the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas. To this day, our kids love this time of year and they express their nostalgic longing for the cooler places of their youth during September and October. Honduras, Tampa, and Houston just don't have the distinct seasons my kids grew up with and for that I say: "That's what you get for moving away from your mama!!!" But in all seriousness, we are a fall-loving family and look forward to the many activities that go along with this season. Picture this: Sitting on a bale of hay, bundled up in a thick cable-knit sweater in 60-degree weather, eating a caramel apple or sipping a cup of hot apple cider as you take in all the fallish sites...people scurrying about already working on their Christmas shopping...folks boarding scenic train excursions...foodies feasting at that favorite roadside hole-in-the-wall that serves those chili cheese dogs they've waited for all year. It's an experience that, season after season, fires my inspiration like nothing else. I'll never forget the fall when our kids were young that we took a trip with our church to Stone Mountain Park and took the hayride around the foot of the mountain. I wondered as the teenagers indulged in a "hay-throwing battle" if I'd gotten myself into more than I'd bargained for, but I also remember smiling later that evening as I dug the hay out of my underwear! Good times I say. Good times, indeed.
Even though our kids are now grown and having children of their own, we continue, even more so maybe, to try and carry on these traditions with our grandchildren. We look for things to do that will enhance their experience and instill in them a great love for the changing of the seasons we have in Georgia and all the joys that come with that. This past weekend we visited our local corn maze and dipped our toes (literally...but more on that later) into everything representative of a country fair. There were games for every age, a small zip line that delighted our little Preston, pumpkins galore, a corn maze that we did, much to my relief, make it out of, a petting zoo, pony rides, and my favorite -- you got it -- a concession stand serving every kind of carnival food your heart could desire -- corndogs, fries, popcorn, snow cones, and funnel cakes. Needless to say, we tried to eat healthier the next day. There is nothing better than being outside eating the food of the fair gods with the ones you love.
Now, as for the dipping of toes -- and not just toes, but our whole bodies, it was not into water, it was in corn! Right, a huge covered box filled with dried kernels 18 inches deep! It was a sight to behold; tiny ones, school-aged children, and teenagers and adults alike literally swimming in the corn! The little one even got her Poppy to come out of his shoes and socks and step into the wonder of corn-swimming. She SO has him wrapped around her chunky little finger! Unfortunately, Nana had a hard time getting out of the corn, much to my son-in-law's amusement. He finally did have mercy on me and offered me his strong 6'3" frame to hang onto and literally pulled me up out of the (corn) pit. I challenge you to take your family out this fall on a similar outing if you haven't already. Experience the sounds, sights, and smells of the season. I probably had the best time I've had in a while partaking in this autumnal delight. No, it wasn't Gatlinburg, Tennessee; it was right around the corner from my home, but it had all the makings of memories that won't soon fade. They are etched in this Nana's heart for another 30 years...or at least until I go to that great cornfield in the sky.
And for the record, like the hay so many years ago, we also dug the corn kernels out of our underwear. Too much information? So sorry.
Happy Monday, y'all!
Posted by CC
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