Making the Most of an All Too Fleeting Fall
As I write this, it is a beautiful Indian Summer type of day, unseasonably warm, but welcomely so. The weather has been so pleasant the past few months, I can’t help but believe it is not likely to continue. I truly hope I’m wrong, because fall — my favorite season — is all too short, even when the weather is good. But when the cold northern winds come prematurely — and invariably mixed with rain — much of the beauty of the season can be lost in a matter of a few blustery days. Worse yet, a fleeting fall makes winter seem to drag out all the longer.
While the weather is obviously beyond our control, this year we challenge you to get out and truly savor the season, however short or long. For me, that means, among other things, continuing a longtime tradition of going apple picking. With our kids all grown, this once much-anticipated family outing has admittedly turned into somewhat of a dutiful pilgrimage for just my wife and me. However, once we get to the orchards, we are always glad we made the trip. Just being out in the countryside is refreshing, and since we always go to the same orchard, the visit never fails to elicit great memories from past trips.
One year, at our kids’ pleading request, we adopted a puppy born to one of the farm dogs. That pup turned into a really great dog. Another time, one of the local farmers had put together a rather large potato slingshot. Once you loaded the potato, to stretch the elastic band you had to pull while walking backward. After taking several steps back, the band would get taut, and when released, the potato would rocket 50 to 100 yards through the air. The farmer had a couple of corn bins way out in the field and if you could fire a potato into one of the bins, you won a free pumpkin. We won two that day. But alas, when we went back the following year, the potato slingshot was no more — the farmer lamented that when his insurance guy found out about it, he told him either it had to go or he’d have to raise his rates. Somewhat understandable, but still very disappointing.
In any case, in addition to the simple joy of actually picking apples right from the tree, fall trips to the country can yield all sorts of unpredictable yet memorable experiences. If you are looking to start your own tradition, check out our list of pumpkin farms and corn mazes on page 31.
For those looking for another kind of old-fashioned fall fun, how about a retro roadtrip on the old Route 66? The once famous highway from Chicago to California runs right through the western suburbs. And as you will see from our cover article on page 34, many parts of the route still retain the old-time, all-American feel of the era when it was the major byway for folks traveling west.
Whatever you choose to do in the coming month — and we challenge you to do something fun and out of the ordinary — we hope you have a truly wonderful fall. And as always, thanks for being a reader!
As always, we hope you enjoy this issue and thanks for being a reader!Edit Module