Aunt Sheryl loved the fall colors. She would come home to Iowa in the fall, as she had made Colorado her home as a younger adult. Colorado is beautiful and majestic, but I must join Sheryl’s free spirit in embracing nature’s collage of yellows, oranges, browns, and greens, painted upon high reaching bluffs, against the gorgeous blue sky on a late October day along the Mississippi river.
HELLLOOO fall! Hay rides, petting ponies, pumpkins, apples sweet, apples crisp, apples covered in caramel, heavenly sweet and tart, juice runs down our chins. Fifty-six degrees F, with a slight breeze against the dry leaves that hadn’t yet given away to blanketing the still warm earth, broadcasting the sound of rustling and tumbling leaves. Today marks the second annual “Aunt Sheryl Fall Day Excursion.”
10:30 a.m, off to Pepin Heights Apple Orchard in Lake City to buy “just picked” Honey crisp apples, sparkling apple cider, caramel apples, and our first pumpkin. Off to Wabash’s Eagle Center. The splitting waters between Minnesota and Wisconsin is home to these majestic birds. If Gavin could be a bird, I am certain he would want to be an eagle: strong, noble, and powerful. Yes, and definitely mischievous.
Over the bridge and through the swamp to Nelson Creamery we go, where cream turns into ice cream and salty cheese curbs. We’re now in Wisconsin and it would be a sin not to come home with some cheese.
Weaving up, down, around and through the bluffs we were on to the pumpkin patch. Mom picks a piggy with a curly tail, Gavin a misshapen Frankenstein head, and Paige perfectly shaped plump green goblin with mohawk stem. Add Indian corn, apple flavored donuts, squash, gourds, and a few drinks, and we’re ready to call it day. Homeward bound.
Dad wasn’t with us today as he just started a new job in Las Vegas, home every other weekend. Last year, dad navigated our first “Aunt Sheryl Fall Day Excursion” not yet considered in a tradition. I made it official today. We won’t do exactly the same things each year, but we will travel this fall day in the spirit of Aunt Sheryl, making it an adventure.
Traditions create memories. Observing traditions with flexibility, outside of a set schedule make it an adventure. Buying and eating foods of fall prepare me to HIBERNATE.