Autumn in the Midwest provides a spectacular source of beauty! The leaves burst into vivid shades of ruby red, burnt orange and mustard yellow. Every year, I travel north about an hour and a half with a group of friends and their kids to a family owned apple orchard. As much fun as it is to bring the kids along and take their pictures in the cut-outs and watch them bounce through the corn maze, it felt luxurious this year to make the trip without them.
We were able to stop at a local winery along the way and sample their wines. A dark chocolate raspberry flavored wine was my favorite. I could imagine myself snuggled up by a fireplace, reading a good book and sipping it as an after dinner drink. We then ventured to a renovated barn that boasted area after area of different antiques and crafts, with no abundance of space. I don’t even think a small, travel stroller would have made it down the aisles in there. The majority of what I saw was not my taste in décor, but it is always fun to see what creations crafty people are able to make. I can’t fathom that kind of creativity, but I admire it greatly.
Along the side of the road, there were many produce stands selling fresh pumpkins, gourds and other fall items at a fraction of the cost that I had seen them advertised at my local grocery store. Nobody even attended the produce collecting money at the stand we stopped at. The honor system prevailed. Situations like that warm my heart because trust is one of the last things I am slowly losing in humanity, but it gives me hope to see others who have faith in the public at large.
My mouth was watering at the thought of an apple cider donut by the time we arrived at the apple orchard. The sugar crystals sticking to the warm pastry melted in my mouth. Willpower was non-existent in that moment. My cart quickly filled with the treasures of autumn: apple cider, caramel apples, apple pie, fresh cheddar cheese curds, and pumpkin rolls. I spent as much on these once a year delicacies as my friend did on her family of four. And I don’t even feel guilty about it. I shared a few things with my co-workers.
Do you have any Autumn traditions that you love? Does it ever feel luxurious for you to have outings without kids?