Fab Five Fall Favorites

Ahhh! It’s fall again. My favorite time of year in New England! The first signs of fall come as the temperature starts to drop at night. As the air gets crisp, so do the apples. Even before the leaves turn, we are off to the apple orchard. Running up the hill to beat the rest of the crowd, we grab as many of the Honey Crisp apples as we can find for school snacks. When our bags can’t hold anymore apples, we trudge down the hill like pack mules. “There’s no more room in the car,” I insist. “We can’t take anymore apples home.” We are off to make all of our favorite apple dishes. If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, what does 3 apples do?

After we have secured our apples for the season, we turn our attention to the leaves. When the leaves change colors, it is as if we are driving through a Graham Gercken or Gary Kim landscape–spectacular everywhere we go. A trip to the post office brightens my day as I take in bright reds, yellows and oranges. Just when I thought that I had seen all of foliage that there was to see, we went to Santa’s Village in the White Mountains for Columbus Day weekend. I was mesmerized during the drive up through the mountains. It was more magnificent than any landscape that I have ever seen. The pies de résistance was our Ferris Wheel ride. As our car rounded the top of the wheel, I was struck by one of the most breath taking views that I have ever seen. The mountainside ablaze in orange, yellow and red with evergreens mixed in to make the colors pop even more.

And, the leaves become the greatest source of entertainment for my son and his friends.   While we are raking them into neat piles, they can’t resist jumping into them a few times. As a grand finally, my son throws the leaves in the air, creating a shower of red, orange and yellow upon our heads. Dancing and laughing, he runs in circles under the shower of leaves. What joy!

Another fall favorite of every child in New England is Pumpkin Carving. Covering the kitchen table with newspaper, we have a family competition for the best decorated pumpkins. In order to inspire my son and his friends, I brought them to The Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular at Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, RI. Who knew that pumpkins could be a work of art? Thousands of carved pumpkins from traditional Halloween witches and haunted houses to a trip through the United States and throughout the world. Just when I thought I had seen enough I walked past a pumpkin Elvis and pumpkin The Beatles. For the big finish, they had fog with the largest pumpkins that I have ever seen made even eerier by a light show and spooky noises. This amazing show is a must see.

The main event in our fall is Thanksgiving. Beginning with the school Thanksgiving play with William Bradford and Miles Standish (played by my son) planning the first thanksgiving dinner with the Indians. After weeks of practice, we march into the classroom and take our seats. Each trying to find the best angle for our cameras. We all clap loudly and cheer for our children. So very proud of them all, we commend the teacher for their performance, and leave for Thanksgiving with smiles on our faces, knowing that our child was the best. After the school play we travel to family for Thanksgiving dinner and the annual family football. Hopefully, this year we can skip the trip to the emergency room. The family story is that my husband was tackled by 6 huge guys and not 10 nieces and nephews in a pillow fight. Shhh! At least that’s what we have been telling everyone.