Thursday, October 2, 2014

Leaves and Pumpkins

Just a few days ago, I swept my front sidewalk. It was still clean as a whistle yesterday. Well, I thought so. This afternoon, I walked out the front door and was surprised to see leaves all over the walk. I probably shouldn't admit this, but my first thought was, "What in the world is making the leaves fall off?" I definitely shouldn't confess this, but it took me a minute to realize that the answer to that question is FALL. Fall is making the leaves fall off!  

The transition from the hot, muggy summer to the crisp cool mornings of autumn is always a wonderful relief. I know many people equate fall with football, but not me. Fall is long walks in the woods with crunching, rustling leaves underfoot. It's the amazing colors of the trees, flannel shirts, boots, and bonfires.  It's stacking the firewood next to the fire pits and staying ready.

Fall also means pumpkins. I don't care much for carving the pumpkins, but I adore eating them. Pumpkin soup, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pasta sauce, pumpkin cake, pumpkin coffee, and pumpkin ice cream. The one pumpkin dish I really love is pumpkin pie, made from scratch with fresh pumpkin. It takes entirely too long to do it this way, but it is really good. Really, really good. 

My mama loved that pumpkin pie, made from scratch from a fresh pumpkin I had roasted and scraped. She especially liked it if I had also grown the pumpkin.  If I mentioned making pumpkin pie, she commonly asked if I were using fresh pumpkin. She was not overly fond of pumpkin from a can, but I loved the convenience. I hate to admit this, too, but there were way too many years I made the pumpkin pie from canned pumpkin. I'm saddened by the fact that roasting the pumpkin and taking the extra time wasn't a higher priority for me, and now that my mama is gone, I wish it had been. I wish I had taken the long way round a little more often.  

There were plenty of things my mama liked that I did do for her, but not nearly enough pumpkin pie. Sometimes we look at the inconvenience of service and forget that the opportunity for service is shorter than you expect.  Before you know it, your chance can be gone, so... 
make the effort, 
take the time, 
go the extra mile. 

This year, take the long way round just a little more often.  You'll be so glad you did.