Monday, September 22, 2008

Fun Fall Activities

I LOVE Fall!! The dark rainy skies, the crunching leaves, the smell of burning wood in the air. It all transports me back to my childhood...and my grandpa's house. He lived in a wooded resort area, just off of a few huge lakes. I remember taking hikes with his daughter (my half-aunt, who is a year younger than me), my brothers, Grandpa and his dogs, Snoopy and Gi-Gi. In the summertime, we caught catfish in the lake but come fall, we opted for nature hikes with his big walking stick, his wood fireplace, and apple and pumpkin pie.

Grandpa loved to entertain. When we stayed overnight, he'd be up before the crack of dawn making a breakfast buffet that would put *any* five star restaurant to shame. Of course he had eggs any way you liked them, bacon, sausage, toast, etc. but his specialty that none of us have forgotten were the biscuits and gravy from scratch. And it wasn't this yucky sausage gravy that everyone serves - it was made from bacon grease. Y.U.M.

We'd wake up in his old down sleeping bags to the most wonderful of smells and have a long breakfast while visiting...and I never wanted to leave. Most would say it was because my half-aunt, Pattie, was the sister I never had but I think it was just that friendly, warm, inviting, happy family feeling.

I am always reminded of him more at this time of year than at any other. Though he died when I was ten and his family moved a few years later, I always have an urge to drive down and peek at the old house this time of year.

He fought in France during WWII in the National Guard. He loved to fish. I can still remember his deep husky voice to this day. He liked to wear cowboy style hats and drove an old yellow Ford pickup. I remember his smile and the love I felt. Happy Fall, Grandpa!

Grandpa's Biscuits and Gravy
1. Fry up some bacon till you have a lot of grease, remove bacon
2. Add enough flour to the grease to make a paste and let it cook for a minute to get the raw flour taste out.
3. Slowly pour in milk, a little a time, and whisk (or use the back of a fork like he did) until desired consistency. Go slowly because once you add too much, you can't really go back.

So while I enjoy my walk down memory lane, I'll ask something from you...

What are your favorite Fall activities? (you can choose more than one)

o Pumpkin Patch
o Hayrides
o Apple picking
o Shopping for/making costumes
o Decorating your house for Fall/Halloween
o Nature walks in jeans and jackets
o Closing down your garden for the coming winter
o Getting out the winter clothes from storage
o Taking a drive just to see the changing leaves
o Thinking about fireplaces and early Christmas shopping
o Baking breads and pies
o Making fall crafts (with or without your kids)
o Raking leaves into a pile for jumping in
o Planting
o Carving pumpkins
o Trick-Or-Treating
o Watch Fall/Halloween theme movies like "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie
Brown" or "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" or "Nightmare Before Christmas"
o Watch or play football games
o Build (or go to) a bondfire
o Go camping


~ April ~ said...

I, too, LOVE autumn! It's hard for me to narrow down my favorite fall-related activies, but definitely those involve food are high up on the list. Apple and pumpkin pies, baked squash, apple cider. Mmm!

Jean 1 said...

I love love love fall! My favorite part is pulling out my favorite boot and jeans and sweaters for the first time. :)

The Camping Crew said...

Laurie, what a sweet blog about your grandpa. I can just feel the love coming from your words. Hold onto those sweet memories!

and to answer your question about favorite fall activities: YES! all of the above and then some. LOL

We are actually thinking of camping over Thanksgiving weekend--with the boys' game schedule, it's our only free weekend. And we have heat in the trailer...

Earthmommy said...

I so enjoyed reading this post. My grandmother used to make the most delicious scratch biscuits, and I could just taste them with bacon gravy...yummy!

As for fall, I love watching nature change, the smell of fires burning on chilly evenings, pumpkins, and trreats like toasted marshmallows and hot chocolate.