Ecclesiastes 3:1 “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…”

Ever since I was a little girl, fall has been my favorite season. I have always been fascinated by the change to cool weather from the summer heat and the changing of colors all around. Fall has certain aromas- of dry leaves, pumpkin, hot apple cider, and bonfires; these always remind me of some fun childhood memories.

I vividly remember one blustery Saturday afternoon in Rambleridge, the neighborhood where I grew up. Dad and I were out in the front yard raking leaves, and it was so windy that our piles just wouldn’t stay in one place. After several attempts to keep the leaves in our piles, we decided to go out into the street with our rakes (Dad also decided to bring a broom). We raked and swept leaves as they flew over our heads and the wind blew them down the street. Seeing the leaves swirl around made me think of “leaf tornadoes”. I remember just laughing at how funny Dad looked with that broom. When he laughed loud, he sounded like Grandpa, and that always made me smile. It was an afternoon I will never forget.

Another collection of fond memories involve playing in our backyard in the fall. We lived on a corner and could see the huge field out west with lots of little trees. On cold, cloudy days, Kathy and I would put on our fall jackets and explore around our backyard. We loved climbing the big Pin Oak tree at the bottom of the hill in our yard. This was a special tree because it didn’t lose its leaves in the fall, but always looked so pretty. The squirrels seemed to like it too. Dad was proud of that tree. He told us that he and Grandpa planted the tree when he and mom first built our house.

I remember attempting to make forts in the backyard with the old, yellow blanket that we kept in the back of the van. One time, Kathy and I had the brilliant idea to rub old sticks together in attempt to build a large fire for marsh mellows (we had seen it in cartoons, so figured it would work for us). I remember those sticks feeling hot to me, but we never really got our big fire. At the end of those days, I was excited to come back inside and warm up. Mom always had something good for dinner (unless there were peas), and Dad would build a fire in the fire place. Our dog, Patch loved to hang out by the fire.

Going to the Apple Orchard in Nebraska City was also a fun family memory. We would come back with pumpkins, apple cider, corn (which I always wanted to feed to the squirrels), and sometimes popcorn. I liked watching Dad carve out the pumpkins and make faces on them when I was little. Mom would take the seeds, wash them, and then put some seasoning on them before baking them. I remember thinking how silly it was to snack on the insides of a pumpkin, but I loved it!

These childhood memories are only a few of many that will stay with me, and it is fun to remember each year. As an adult, these past couple of fall seasons are ones that will always stand out; they have been times that God has brought great changes to my life. They have been the seasons in my life that I have grown and learned the most spiritually. They have been incredible seasons, which I will highlight in the near future.

Today as I’m sipping on my hot apple cinnamon cider, feeling the cool breeze, and watching the golden leaves blow, I’m reminded that “for everything there is a season…”. God has blessed me with not only some wonderful fall memories, but also has taught me some incredible lessons.