When it comes to seasons, there’s not much I love more than the first, almost imperceptible noticings of the coming fall. The cooler nights, the crickets’ incessant chirp, dewy mornings, flocking starlings that cover the yard searching for insects to fill up on for their journey, the sweet smell of hay being mown and stored for animals to feast on over the inevitable colder months, the placement of the sun lower in the sky, the early morning chill, and that crazy unexplainable sense when you step outside, that it just “smells” like the first day of school!
As the calendar sneaks its way into September, while we’re still not quite sure where summer went, or that we even want it to end at all, suddenly it’s back to school again and we shift our focus to all things fall.
Over the past year I have done much to hone my planning skills, to help keep on top of things, and to simplify my days…and life. I do try to make my planning times fun, or at least somewhat creative (by using a goals planner with lots of colored pens, highlighters, and stickers, journaling, incorporating fun apps on my tablet and phone…) and I would like to incorporate the idea of a seasonal “bucket list.” Not keen on the term, however, I think I’ll mix it up a bit and call it my Basket List. Who doesn’t love the beauty of a simple, well-crafted basket?
So, as I sit with window open, listening to the gathering crows, a hawk’s shrill call, and enjoying the cool breeze with my second cup of morning coffee, won’t you join me as I contemplate the things I would love to accomplish this autumn? Fun things, things that need done, healthy changes, and goals to make our family life more efficient and enjoyable. Perhaps you’ll even be inspired to start your own list.
My 2016 Autumn Basket List: (In no particular order).
- Change floral arrangements and front door wreath to Autumn.
- Declutter our home office.
- Clean the carpets.
- Lose 10 more pounds.
- Harvest the last of the pears.
- Visit the large local crafts store with my daughter to plan some fun projects.
- Go through my cool weather clothes and donate what no longer works.
- Prep gardens for cold weather.
- Buy and carve pumpkins from Ritter’s Farm up the road. (Plus get gourds, Indian corn, hay bale and corn stalks).
- Schedule another riding lesson for our daughter.
- Visit the Tall Ships Festival on Lake Erie.
- Prepare and freeze make-ahead meals.
- Harvest any remaining root veggies in the garden.
- Dry herbs for winter use.
- Visit Soergel’s Orchard for apples (still not producing worthy apples from our own tree) and enjoy their Fall Festival.
- Make gingerbread.
- Visit a haunted house.
- Do hay rides out back for our daughter and friends.
- Plan a trip to Lancaster (Amish country).
- Winterize the duck coop.
- Rake our elderly neighbor’s leaves.
- Purchase two new comfy sweaters (and let go of two older ones).
- Oraganize the pantry (which I just inventoried yesterday – yeah!)
- Trick or Treat with neighbors.
- Have every last back yard fire with friends that we can squeeze in.
- Enjoy that first day in cozy-clothes for fall, curled up and reading a good book.
- Watch spooky movies with my hubby.
- Celebrate our 22nd anniversary in October.
- Winterize our fledgling wisteria.
- Finish cleaning the garage.
- Start downstairs remodel that didn’t happen last year when hubby got sick.
- Move holiday bins to the new garage shelves!
- Finish writing friendship journal and mail to BFF in Ohio.
- Start daughter’s dance lessons again.
- Buy daughter new winter coat and boots.
- Make chili and cornbread.
- Start a new study with my small group: Francis Chan’s Forgotten God.
- Change garden flag to fall.
- Purchase local winter honey.
- Read two books just for enjoyment.
- Start a small quilting or crochet project.
- Hike Boyce Park with a friend.
- Make crockpot apple butter.
- Start weekly walks with my sweet neighbor.
- Ride my bike in the cooler weather.
- Attend Laurelville Trust retreat with Mia Khoene.
- Continue planning ahead and setting goals.
- Clean off back porch and store patio cushions and wicker.
- Write out Christmas cards (with all school photos that haven’t been shared)!
- Start Christmas shopping.
- Start paying more attention to moisturizing skin and caring for hands, feet, and lips.
- Attend Shaker Wood’s Christmas in the Woods Festival.
- Alter this list as needed!
So, as the days grow inevitably shorter and we wake one morning to realize the leaves are turning, I hope that you’ll turn a new leaf with me and make a conscious effort to slow down and enjoy your surroundings, your loved ones and friends, your neighbor’s, church family, and all of God’s bountiful gifts this harvest season!
““You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but on the seventh day you must stop working, even during the seasons of plowing and harvest.”
Exodus 34:21 NLT