Heart of the Home

Oct. 2008 HOH window

Heart of the Home - Fall Memories

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Admiring God’s work easy in autumn 

I love all of the seasons, but fall is my favorite. I can almost smell the fried potatoes and onions, and the creamed tomatoes Mom cooked for us when the weather got cooler.

We used to come home from school to the smell of homemade bread and cinnamon rolls.

Later, after I got married and had six children, I made the same kinds of baked goodies for them.

When my children were growing up, they had pet turkeys. The turkeys would wait at the end of the lane for the children to come home on the school bus. They would peck at the children all the way home. We dressed one for Thanksgiving that year, and sold the rest.

After my husband passed away 34 years ago, and the children were on their own, I moved to my hometown from the country.

I moved into my house the first of October and enjoyed looking out the window at the beautiful oak trees as I sat and ate my supper.

Five years later, I bought a house three doors down from my rental house, and I had great neighbors.

They had a walnut tree that gave plenty of shade and great-tasting walnuts. We enjoyed gathering them up and using them for cookies, cakes and other goodies.

Later, we’d rake the leaves into the street and burn them.

One year, the walnuts weren’t good, but they still had to be picked up before the squirrels got them. However, we didn’t do it soon enough.

I had bought a new furnace, and when I turned it on that fall, it sounded like a tornado hit the basement.

Upon investigating the noise, I discovered that the squirrels had used my chimney for their winter storage.

After I removed several buckets of nuts from the chimney, my nephew built a cover over it.

My family always enjoyed Thanksgiving. We not only enjoyed the food that was prepared, but also the trip we took to Jasper-Pulaski Game Preserve to see the thousands of sandhill cranes that stopped for corn or beans left in the fields. It was a beautiful sight, but noisy. The birds stayed for several months, and people from all over came to see them.

I really appreciate God’s creation in the fall season.

Lincoln, Ill.

Fall sparks memories of beauty, enjoyment 

I fondly recall how beautiful autumn days were when I was growing up in our small Midwestern town.

We were blessed with awesome maple and oak trees that made an arch along the street, like an elegant cathedral. They were ablaze with yellow, russet and gorgeous brown leaves. It was so much fun to walk to school, delighting in the swishing sound under my feet.

I always looked forward to our annual autumn band festival and parade, which was usually held in October. It was such a delight to view the parade framed by the lovely trees in their autumn splendor.

I also looked forward to a fantastic Halloween party held at a local park. Awards and treats were given to the children who came in the most clever costumes. There were also great games, including bobbing for apples.

Everyone in our community eagerly anticipated the coming of autumn every year.

Now, every year at this time, I relive those awesome memories once again.

Spirit Lake, Iowa

Staying active 

It’s important for us to keep our minds and bodies active and fit.
What do you do to stay physically and mentally active? Do you belong to a gym, where you can lift weights, walk on a treadmill or swim in a pool? Do you walk for physical activity? Do you walk alone or with friends? How often do you exercise?
What keeps you motivated? What do you do when the weather won’t allow you to walk outside?
What do you do to keep your mind active? Maybe you enjoy puzzles, or perhaps you prefer to read. Do you and your family or friends get together to play cards or board games?
How did your parents and grandparents keep physically and mentally fit?

Tell us your stories about staying active. Send your letters by Nov. 12 to CAPPER’S, Kate Marchbanks, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609-1265.

A Letter from Kate: 

Fall has always been my favorite time of the year. I love the crisp autumn air, the leaves turning colors, and that “hearth and home” feeling. I enjoy the smell of wood burning in the fireplace, the sound of geese flying overhead, and the crunch of leaves under my feet. I love decorating for fall just as much as I do for Christmas.

When I was growing up, I always got excited about getting new school supplies and clothes. I hated to see summer vacation end, but I also looked forward to seeing friends I hadn’t seen all summer. 

Once I started my college career, fall meant moving back into the dorm, being reunited with friends, and feeling a sense of independence from my parents.

The campus was pretty in the fall. In front of the building where I had the majority of my classes, trees formed a canopy over an area that served as a peaceful refuge between hubs of activity. I frequently paused there for a respite from my busy class schedule.

My birthday is in the fall, so that gives me an added reason to celebrate the season. 

I used to love dressing up for Halloween, having slumber parties, and going trick-or-treating with my siblings or friends.
Then, as fall came to a close, my family and I would get together with extended family to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Fall is not only a beautiful time of the year, it also reminds me of the good times I’ve shared with loved ones.

Kate Marchbanks

Together with God: 

If you type “fall festivals” into a search engine, thousands of opportunities for craft fairs and festivals pop up. Not surprising, given the time of year that provides the perfect weather conditions for a gathering – frost on the pumpkins, leaves turning colors, and crisp, cool days. We wrap ourselves in cozy sweaters as we walk around sampling apple cider and enjoying the gorgeous chrysanthemum blooms.

Harvest has always been a time to celebrate, and it’s not just due to the fabulous weather. We celebrate the end of summer heat, the hard work of bringing in the bounty, and the abundance of our blessings. We reward quality canning efforts with bright blue ribbons, and we feast on barbecued meat. Working hard and celebrating life is what a fall festival is all about.

Father, thank You for the harvest and for all You put before us. Bless the land you have provided and the farmers who work so hard to grow our food. Thank You for the times when we can celebrate hard work and the joy of living. Amen.

– D. Susan Rutz