Miriam Robbins Midkiff, of Ancestories2 and Ancestories issued a new word prompt on her Ancestories2 blog. The word prompt is Fall.
“How do you feel about fall? Is it a favorite season, or do you prefer another?”
When I was growing up in southwestern Ohio, I loved fall! The changing colors, going back to school, Fall Festivals at schools and around the community, the smell of a fire in the fireplace, the warmth of “Indian Summer” days, and the beginning of the new television schedule!
“What are you favorite fall activities (indoor or out)?”
Once we had a “weeny” roast at my brother’s house in their outdoor firepit. The temp was in the low 40s so everyone was bundled in coats and hats and either sat out by the fire or in their enclosed patio area. My sister-in-law made hot apple cider complete with real cinnamon sticks and cloves. After the hot dog dinner, we all roasted marshmallows over the fire. Another activity I enjoyed as a kid was the large piles of leaves we would jump into! As an adult one of our annual activities includes attending our community’s Western Day festival in the old part of our city. There is lots of history to the shops on Main Street. Each year there are bands that play on the stages set up, a longhorn cattle drive down Main Street along with a parade, gun fight re-enactments, and a chance to catch up with people I don’t see very often.
“What are your favorite fall sports (to watch or play)?”
In high school the thing to do was go to the football games each Friday at home and spend most of the game wandering below the stands socializing! Then after the game we’d all meet up at the local pizza hangout. Living in Texas now (especially when I had children in high school), Friday nights just aren’t the same unless we are at the local high school football game! Between the annual rivalry game that was played at Texas Stadium in Irving and having a son in band for many years, we always spent home games on Fridays at the high school stadium – eating hot dogs or nachos and hoping for our team to win!
“Do you have a favorite fall outfit to wear? Cordouroy slacks and plaid flannel shirt, a cozy sweater, etc.?”
I don’t necessarily have a fall outfit that I pull out at the first sign of chilly weather but I have a pair of flannel pajamas that are nice and warm that I only wear in the fall and winter (and here in Texas that is only when the temps are low). I have a nice pair of lined wool slacks that I wear to church when the weather is cool to keep my legs warm.
“Do you have any particular household or garden chores that you regularly do just in autumn?”
No – other than get the living room set up in order to put up the Christmas Tree after Thanksgiving.
“Have you ever gone leaf peeping?”
Well I had to google this term as it’s not something I’ve ever heard before! I guess you could say that on my recent road trip from Texas to Ohio a couple weeks ago, I did take pictures of the trees and changing leaves as we made our way north. Where I’m at the leaves change & fall – no chance to photograph them unless you are really quick! I see a lot of interesting colors on the leaves that have already fallen – not much on the trees themselves! But I love to look at others’ pictures of fall foilage!
“What observances of nature do you regularly watch (birds flying south, squirrels preparing for winter, etc.)?”
The birds come here – so instead of watching them fly south (like I did when I was young & in Ohio), I watch them land in my yard. Then I watch the dog chase them away! I do see some squirrels around – but they are mainly sitting on the fence antagonizing the dog!
“What flowers that bloom during this season do you especially like?”
Many years ago when my second oldest daughter was in the high school choir, one of their fundraisers was selling pansies in October. We ordered quite a few and planted them in an circular garden out front and then in an area in the back. They stayed really pretty clear through the fall and most of the winter. Of course they were purple pansies!
“Do you visit any orchards, pumpkin patches or corn mazes?”
A few years ago I took one of my grandsons to the local pumpkin patch in mid-October. There were many child-friendly activities for him, and we also took a hayride around the pumpkin patch.
“What about the local fair?”
I’ve only been to the county fair once and that was only because my daughter’s choir was performing. Our Texas State Fair is held in the fall but I have never gone. Too many people, not thrilled with the (lack of) security, too expensive and not my cup of tea! When I was in Junior High, my mom and I worked the school’s PTA fall fair. We spent several hours in the soda truck selling sodas to fair-goers. That was always a lot of fun – unfortunately for a few days afterwards I would always come down with laryngitus!
“Do you do any kind of harvesting or food preparation (canning, drying, smoking)?
“What about hunting?”
No – never had the opportunity or place to go.
“Do you do any kind of fall traveling, other than holiday travels?”
Growing up we’d usually go visit my mom’s brother in Battle Creek and/or my dad’s two brothers outside of Detroit. In 1966 my parents and I took a month long trip from Ohio to California and back in the fall. And a couple weeks ago my sister and I took a road trip from Texas to Ohio to visit our Mom. The other trips my family has taken have all been Thanksgiving trips to the farm in Missouri.
“Which is your favorite fall holiday, and why (Hallowe’en, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, or others)?
I always loved Halloween growing up because it allowed me to indulge my passion to dress up in different costumes. I still love the holiday and watching my kids and now my grandkids dress up in costume and have fun! Thanksgiving has always come in a close second (as my birthday is really close to Thanksgiving!) – with family around, lots of food, and of course the Cowboys football game!
“What are your favorite fresh foods that are in season at this time? Favorite fall recipes or beverages?”
Pumpkin pie! I also hated sweet potatoes as a kid and it’s only been in the last 15 years that I’ve been able to eat them willingly! I love baked sweet potatoes with butter and brown sugar on them as well as sweet potato casserole. I look forward to apple cider in the fall and making a cauliflower casserole. I’m also not a turkey all year round person! So I look forward to cooking the big bird at Thanksgiving along with all the trimmings. Until I stopped eating whole eggs, I looked forward to the first jugs of egg nog in the supermarket! Those containers never last long at my house!
“Share favorite fall memories from your childhood.”
This particular memory has to be from my teen years. Since I loved Halloween but at age 13 was “too old” to go out on beggar’s night any more, I looked forward to having a costume party. The only problem was I wasn’t allowed to have a “boy/girl” party until I was 16 and since my birthday fell after Halloween (and after Thanksgiving!), I lobbied for and won the debate and was able to have my costume party at age 15 right before my birthday. The theme was to come dressed as your favorite rock star or musician or celebrity. There were about 15 people there which my brother insisted that he “chaperone”. After an hour in the basement listening to our 70s music and watching us talk and dance, my brother went up to sit with my mom proclaiming us “Boring” (which meant we weren’t doing anything we shouldn’t be doing!). My other favorite autumn memories are of my birthdays. As a child I’d have friends or neighbors over to celebrate. Normally we still had family in town from the Thanksgiving holiday. Many times we had left over turkey – which ceased when I was about 13 and started insisting on pizza. As a teen there were slumber parties on or close to my birthday. An equally fun memory was going to the local charity run “haunted houses” as a teenager. That was when they only cost $1 to get in and volunteers ran and acted in the houses. All the money went to the Muscular Dystrophy Association. A bunch of us – either high school friends or my church youth group would go a few weekends prior to Halloween and have fun. For awhile a friend and I would always walk the annual “Hike for the Handicap” or March of Dimes walk each fall. Normally it would be about a ten-mile trek around one of the neighboring cities. We didn’t raise much money but we sure had a good time. And a few years ago, my daughter and I participated in the annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Dallas.
“What do you like least about this season?”
The unpredictable weather! Here in Texas Halloween normally marks the time when the weather turns really cold and biting – but this year it was still warm and nice.
“What family birthdays, anniversaries, or events are commemorated in the fall? Are there any signficant family history events that occurred during the summer?”
My mother’s birthday is at the end of September and as a young teen, I always made sure to make her a cake and employed some of my friends to help me surprise her when she got home from work. My birthday is in November and my sister’s and my daughter’s wedding anniversaries are in October.
What about you? What are your answers?
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