Bonfires, sweaters and blue jeans, falling leaves, colors of warmth and comfort, crockpot meals, apple pie, cozy plaid scarves, bonfires, deer hunting, harvesting crops, boots, warm coffee and apple cider, and pumpkin EVERYTHING!
These are some of my absolute favorite things about fall. Hands down my favorite time of year, and many other’s who live in the midwest. As September approaches, my Facebook and Instagram feeds are always full of statuses highlighting the cool fall weather that is approaching and the pumpkin-flavored eats that are soon to be available at coffee shops and grocery stores everywhere. In the midwest, fall starts on September 1st. No way can we wait until September 22nd to put out our autumn wreaths and slip into our favorite over-sized sweater. But just what is it about this time of year that gets us in the Midwest so excited?
For starters, the scenery in the Midwest during fall is a wonder to see.
The south has their fields of blue belles, the west coast has waves crashing into the beach as the tide comes in, and the east coast has their piers overlooking the waters. But the midwest has a kind of raw, natural, no-fuss beauty that reflects God’s great artwork on this earth and represents the lifestyle of hardworking middle-class folks that are lucky enough to live in this region of the country. To outsiders, this part of the country may just seem like an area of fly-over states (thanks Jason Aldean for the expression!), leaving others wondering why in the world anybody would choose to live in the middle-of-nowhere. Until you visit this area or maybe live here, it’s probably difficult to truly appreciate the beauty that inhabits the midwest.
Corn and bean fields as far as the eye can see. The biggest blue skies you have ever laid eyes on. Trees of green transforming into shades of amber, fire, and sunlight. Big, orange pumpkins spread across open patches on backroads all over the region. Illinois itself is the pumpkin capital of the world after all. To some it may look like a desolate place with small-town after small-town and nothing fun to do. But the fun and the beauty is everywhere around here. It is more simple, more down-to-earth, and more fulfilling than anything I have experienced before. So glad I get to call this place home.
Fall brings about a nostalgia that takes us all back to our childhood.
Whether it was roaming around town with your childhood pals donned in your coolest Halloween get-up collecting all the candy your parents will let you snatch up or carving pumpkins and placing a candle inside them on your porch for the neighborhood to see we all have at least a couple of fall childhood memories we are fond of. I vividly remember jumping in a huge pile of leaves off of the little hill we had in our front yard after earning my allowance by raking them up first. Childhood is full of so much discovery, so much magic. I think this is one reason so many people love this season; it takes us back to some of that magic. If you’re like me, every year you try to re-live some of these nostalgic moments. My sweet (and patient) husband humored me this year and went with me to Curtis Orchard, a local pumpkin patch that is famous around the Champaign-Urbana area. We enjoyed lunch in the cafe, including an apple donut, explored the orchards, and dropped some serious dough on pumpkins, gourds, and apples to decorate our patio with.
As an adult, I enjoy making new memories and traditions surrounding this time of year.
I enjoy baking, and Derek enjoys testing out my new recipes. I’m not particularly good at home decorating, but I love putting out fall decor in my home and on the patio just like my mom used to. Of course, I enjoy ABC Family’s “13 Days of Halloween” line-up, adding to the nostalgia of the season. And rather than sipping on hot chocolate or apple cider I enjoy trying new wines and seasonal beers, locally made when available. I reckon there are some perks to this adulting thing!
I hope this post has gotten you into the autumn mood, if you’re not already there. But, if you’re like me you’ve been in the mood since about August! So tell me, what are some of your favorite things about fall? Comment below, and keep your bellies full with lots of pumpkin-flavored treats!