This time of the year is magical. The month between Halloween and Thanksgiving is a beautiful time. Christmas is still a ways away, although you might see some Christmas decorations. It’s not winter yet, but there is a chill in the air and the weather is definitely changing. There might be small little skiffs of snow but it does not stay around.
Favorite Fall Memories
Think about your favorite family memories of this time of year:
High School football games (we always played on Saturday afternoons)
Visiting apple cider mills and drinking fresh cider and eating apple cider donuts
Playing and hiding in big leaf piles
The smell of burning leaves (I guess you can’t do that now)
I remember every Saturday morning my brothers and sisters had to rake the leaves from the big oak tree in our backyard. The leaves were really big and there were so many of them! It took weeks before all the leaves were finally off that tree! I always thought why don’t we wait until all the leaves were down before we raked them, but my Dad wanted it done every week. The leaves were a real pain in the you know what, but the real hassle was the millions (probably not millions but it sure seemed like a million) acorns that had to be gathered up as well.
After we raked big piles of leaves we used an old blanket that we would rake the leaves on. Then like Santa Claus I hauled the leaves to the street where I made even bigger piles on the street. The neighbors also all had their leaves out on the street and everybody burned them. Every family had at least one metal leaf rake to tend the fire. The big bamboo rakes were the best to rake the leaves, but you had to have a metal rake for the fire. That smell of burning leaves is such a wonderful fall memory for me. My life story would not be complete without the memory of those burning leaves.
I grew up in New Jersey in the 1960s when we could burn our leaves. All the families along the street were out together, it was such fun.
I have visited my street recently during the fall only to discover that no one is allowed to burn leaves anymore. Everyone still drags their leaves to the street, but now the city has big trucks that suck the leaves up along the curb. It just isn’t the same!
Saturday Football Games
I played on my high school football team and every Saturday we played our games. When my kids were in high school, they played their games on Friday night. For me it just wasn’t the same with games on Friday night. In my case my memories of fall weekends revolved around Saturday afternoon high school football games, and then we always played our final game against our arch rival on Thanksgiving morning, at 10:00. That really seems weird now — playing on Thanksgiving — but that’s what we did.
Did you live near an apple cider mill? We had them in New Jersey. It was so much fun to go and buy gallons of fresh-pressed cider right from the mill in glass gallon jugs. The cider was not pasteurized so if it was not refrigerated it would ferment. These cider mills usually also sold apple cider donuts. They were so good. If you don’t live near a cider mill, it is worth it taking a trip one year to taste fresh cider. It is so good.
Growing up in New Jersey, hunting was not an activity we took part in, but living here in the west I have learned that it is definitely a family activity. Each area has their own fall traditions.
Your Family Memories
What was unique about the fall season where you lived? Think back on your early fall memories. Write about them. It is fun to think about the good times that should be a part of your family memories and your own life history or story.