From beginning to end, fall is a cornucopia full of fun. Here in southern California the change in leaf color is barely noticeable, but you can find it in a few variety of trees. Living near Fallbrook, I love the way the gold shines out on our little, windy roads that lead into town. Even the local vineyards turn to gold. Pumpkins begin to show up in front of grocery stores and Lavender Hill Pumpkin Farm opens with its amazing varieties in all shapes, sizes, and colors spreading throughout in their growing ground. Mike is the seed collector and business man, while he is often joined by his wife who loves to play her guitar and sing folk songs for the children…and often adults find her enthusiasm delightful too!
I love to begin buying pumpkins to use for decorating from September through November. I feel like a kid in a candy shop as I begin to pick my pumpkins for their color, size or unusual patterns. I put them both in and out of the house to welcome the season. Decorating with them can be an art in itself. I love to use burlap or plaid fabrics in fall colors on tables, in wheel barrows, boxes or draped over cabinets or tables covered with nuts, gourds and…of course, pumpkins with big, fat candles or luminaries to add fall intrigue to the display. Then, I bring out any wooden bowls or bright colored pottery I’ve gathered through the years to find the right look for my pumpkins. I like to contrast oranges with deep blue and white. Outdoors, they wind up in boxes, cuddled together on the patio, or randomly placed in the garden. We have been known to take a little tip to central coast to visit “Avila Farms” to see their mounds of pumpkins and to “See Canyon Apples” to celebrate fall.
Then, in October we can add the fun of Apple Season! I love to visit the Apple Farms in Oak Glen or have Apple pie in Julian. I even begin making pumpkin bread and apple pie as time allows. On top of that we have Halloween to enjoy. A soft plastic skeleton or bat finds it’s way to the garden or front porch lending to the fun. I formerly lived in a neighborhood where the mailbox was up by the door on our front porch deck. When I had outgoing mail, I tucked a waxy, fake hand into the mailbox holding my outgoing mail to have a little fun with our mail carrier… OK, that might be going a little overboard, but it was fun and I had kids at home to enjoy my mischief. Halloween is scary fun…a time for dressing up just to be silly and laugh…to pop out and go Boo! I loved to hang the black cats, witches, and bat drawings the kids made on the fridge. How about you?
The fun still lives on through Thanksgiving with turkey, pumpkin and apple pie, corn-on-the cob, butternut squash, cornbread…should I continue? It’s a “fun-tastic” time when the chill hits the air and the fireplaces get lit…when trips to the mountains bring fall tree colors, and hot cider…when friends gather and we feel thankful for whatever abundance has come our way during the year. When kids giggle and get to carve pumpkins, and hand tracings turn into turkeys, it’s a time for heart- warming memories for me, and the fun lives on. Pumpkins can be very resilient …and I’ve been known to keep my best pumpkins out in the garden till spring!
Wishing you a season filled with fun and happy hearts.