My Favorite Season of the Year

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Dear friends,

We live where we have four distinct seasons, and my favorite one is here. Yes, fall, with all it holds, has arrived! Some have told me that this time of year makes them sad when everything dies, reminding them of approaching winter. But, how can one feel sad living in Omaha with rolling hills of beautiful multicolored trees, lovely landscaped yards with bright yellow mums and brilliant red burning bushes? Front porches and around doors are filled with straw bales, cornstalks, and pumpkins. Who doesn’t feel like a child again when taking their daily walk in fallen leaves? And the aroma! Um! Away with those hot humid days, and if a day is dreary or chilly, we light our wood-burning fireplace and bring out cinnamon and spice scented candles. Soon, there will be happy children trick or treating, and then, Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday! Could it get any better?

Well, it did get better when we bought our little farm with all its unique beauty and added peace. It got even more so this past weekend when we both noticed an extra special feeling of joy. We were picking pears from our two pear trees and remarking over and over again, “Look at all these pears!” What a wholesome job!

Pear trees: On the left is a Starking Delicious and on the right, a partial photo of a Bartlett. Their taste is almost identical.

I got to pick from the center, and Larry picked the high and low pears. Sometimes, I just held the bag and exclaimed, “Can you believe all these pears?!”

Yes, on our little farm, it is harvest time. A reward for our labors. Larry dug all of the potatoes, and laid them out to cure on the basement floor. We also picked apples from three trees. Our various dwarf trees are ready for picking starting in late August and ending in early November, and they have done quite well this year. I have frozen chopped apples already from those that had fallen, but now we will be canning many jars of applesauce, and running our dehydrator day and night for a while.

Digging potatoes is getting difficult for Larry, and I couldn’t even be of help by picking them up.

We weren’t able to thin the apples in the spring and the branches were really weighted down. They literally rose as we picked the apples off, and I think I heard them breathe relief! I couldn’t help but think of the last stages of pregnancy!

My special job, lately, has been picking raspberries. We had thought them a failure when they produced only a few small berries, but they are abundant and larger this year with cane after cane full of berries in various stages. We have kept them in neat rows and held up between wires, so it has been easy for me and a blessing to pick two or three cups each evening with no end in sight. I imagine they’ll continue to ripen as long as the weather permits. I mostly freeze them in small quantities to pop in our fruit smoothies, but I have also made muffins, and another “first” for me – raspberry jam!

We had to go to Omaha for a few days, and when we came back, the bugs had left me eight cups of raspberries!

Remember, when we bought the farm, how each trip out we filled Larry’s blue truck, actually our old 1998 blue Honda Accord, to the ceiling with supplies? Yes, even fence posts and wire! Well, how fun to reverse the load, and go home filled with our harvest! A trunk loaded with bags of apples and pears, and our cooler with frozen blackberries and raspberries! We had already taken the frozen strawberries and rhubarb home, and next time, we should have enough room for the potatoes and frozen green beans and sweet corn. Life is good! And fall? Well, it is absolutely my most favorite season of the year!