As I sit writing my column today I can see the leaves out the window slowly drifting to the ground. It is a beautiful October day, warm and sunny, one to thoroughly enjoy, as there won’t be too many more like it. Autumn is such a beautiful time of year with so many different colors in so many different shades. Mother Nature has turned that weed you didn’t get cut down into a colorful fall decoration along with all the other bushes and trees.

Farmers are working round the clock to finish harvesting their crops. Combines are working in the fields twenty four hours a day. The wagons and semis are filled to the top for their trips to the storage bins. Once the crops are off the farmers will be right back into the fields working to plant wheat or cover crops before winter weather sets in.

Many of our fall festivals that everyone enjoys so much have been canceled. However, we can still find things to enjoy in these autumn months. Take a drive in the country and enjoy the beautiful colors of the trees, bushes, weeds and fall flowers all around you. Pack a sandwich, some chips and something to drink and take with you. Find a place to pull off the road, park and enjoy a picnic, as you watch the tractors, combines and other farm equipment working in the fields. It will be just like being at a fall festival. Take a drive around the towns and check out all the houses and lawns decorated for fall and Halloween. Many homes have lighted displays. There are pumpkins everywhere and now some of them come in different colors other than orange. There are places with beautifully painted and decorated pumpkins on display. The kids will love it!

Enjoy something pumpkin! There are so many things made with pumpkin this time of year. Who doesn’t like pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin rolls with cream cheese filling, pumpkin bread, pumpkin soup, pumpkin and spice flavored drinks and more.

Garden produce is coming to an end, so now it is time to think “apples.” My family always “stirred off” applebutter in our huge copper kettle over an open fire. Huge amounts of apples were cooked, with just the core removed, and when soft would be put through a colander to remove the peelings. Brown sugar, white sugar and cider would be added to the apples already in the copper kettle, which would be setting over the open fire. The stirring would begin and would continue for hours, with everyone taking turns with the stirring paddle and adding wood to the fire. When proper thickness was achieved and a scum formed on a small amount of the butter placed in a dish to cool, it was done. The kettle was carried to our basement where the apple butter was put in jars and sealed. It would be enjoyed on homemade bread, rolls and biscuits throughout the year. Nowadays it can be made in a crockpot!

In spite of the limitations we must endure this autumn, there are still many things we can enjoy and different ways to enjoy them. Take advantage of the many things Mother Nature and the season has to offer. The joys of autumn can lift your spirits and we need that.

Barb Lumley wrote this column to be published in The Circleville Herald. The views of this column may not necessarily reflect that of the newspaper.

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