By Susan Govern
Autumn is here and Fall activities are once again listed in the entertainment section of the newspaper. Look up “Things to do” and you will see lists of Pumpkin Patches, Corn Mazes, Hay Rides, Apple Butter Festivals, Haunted Houses to visit and Apple Picking events at local orchards. You could plan activities for every weekend of October and well into November.
Many years while our kids were growing up, my husband and I would plan to get out and enjoy at least one or two Fall activities. We would make a day of it and usually come home after having sampled some apple cider and maybe some fresh-baked pumpkin cookies at some festival.
I recall the kids getting pumpkins which would stay in the garage until the week before Halloween. Then my husband would get our biggest kitchen knife one evening, gather up newspapers from the week and commence to gutting the pumpkins. The gooey innards would be scraped out while my son and daughter would comment (with big smiles and laughs) “Ewww – that’s so gross.”
By evening’s end the simple pumpkins would be transformed into Jack-O-Lanterns and placed on our front steps.
Now that the “kids” are grown, I look forward to pumpkins in a different form. Pumpkin pies, pumpkin spice creamer for my coffee, pumpkin scented candles, and fake pumpkins to decorate with. Nice, but the sad part is we no longer have to go to any pumpkin patches. I must admit, I miss the sight of all those orange “globes” surrounded by green vines and just waiting to be picked.
For many years we’ve talked about how we should go to a corn-maze. I know there are many not far from us. Some more elaborate than others, and all made out of some farmers imagination just so visitors can have some fun while feeling like lab rats trying to find that elusive hunk of cheese.
Usually the farmer and his family will not only have a corn-maze on the property, but they provide dried corn stalks bundled as decorations. Apples and apple cider are available for customers; some even have hay rides too.
I think we may have avoided the corn-maze adventure over the years just because when the kids were little, G.P.S. wasn’t an everyday thing. My husband is a map kind of guy anyway and since no maps are made by the farmers for their corn-mazes – well it just wasn’t something we tried.
I think he and I need to take on that challenge one day soon. I think after 32 years our marriage should be solid enough to withstand going through a corn-maze together.
I remember hearing an old piece of advice about marriage when we were younger. It went something like this – “If you as husband and wife can put up wall paper or put together a piece of furniture from instructions and not be thinking of divorce by the time you’re done, then you have a strong marriage.”
I think some might add in the idea of finding your way through a corn-maze without maps or G.P.S.
Now I would look at the golden colored dried corn stalks cut into a maze as a fun challenge; something to laugh our way through as we make a wrong turn here and there. My husband – he would see it as a challenge too but I believe a more serious one. Having been a boy-scout, I am willing to bet he would show up at the farm armed at least with a compass if he couldn’t have access to a map. After looking the situation over and trying to determine where people were exiting the corn-maze, he would finally agree to give it a try.
As children and their parents would laugh and run by us in an attempt to see how many times they could get lost in that golden maze just for the fun of it, I would be plodding along side of my husband as he methodically checked his compass at every turn.
I’m quite sure we would find our way out (probably in record time) because of his leading the way, but as for the fun factor of the experience, let’s just say I’m convinced it would rate right up there with getting caught in a traffic jam.
Never the less, as much as Autumn is one of my favorite seasons, I will continue to try and plan outings to enjoy all that is a part of this time of year. I’ll remember the fun that was, and look forward to the fun to come.
Orange and gold…apples and cider…cool days and cold nights sitting around a bon-fire…pumpkins and dried golden corn stalks; a season of color and a season of fun. I will indeed make the most of this time of year (even if it means hiding my husband’s boy scout compass).