On the way there, we got to see the aspen trees changing colors all along Monarch Pass. If you haven't experienced that, well...it's too bad cause I didn't take any pictures. Left the stupid camera at home, dang it! It is breathtaking, though. There are thousands of aspen trees, in groves, situated within all these Colorado evergreens (which, of course, remain green all year in case the name didn't give that away) and come September, they just burst into flame. The mountainside is covered with what, all of the sudden, looks like a patchwork quilt of fall colors. It is amazing. Then, as quickly as they come, they disappear.
I was so glad that we happened to be driving through there because I had really forgotten all about the aspens. There are people who come from all over to see the them. They get out and take pictures and drink up the beauty of it all and here they are in my backyard and I just forgot. I'm really not trying to be profound here, though you are welcome to insert your own little lesson about enjoying the beauty around us, etc. Mostly, the trees were my first real clue, my wake up call, that it really was Fall...hmmm...I just decided to call it Autumn...doesn't it just sound prettier?
I love this time of year. I love the smells...leaves burning, fireplaces going, the can't-quite-put-your-finger-on-it smell that comes along with the crisp, cool air. I love the sights...turning leaves, kids outside all the time, pumpkins patches, kids playing football and soccer. I love the tastes...vegetables from the last harvest in the garden, finally ripe apples and pears, cider, soups and stews. I love it all. It is probably my favorite time of year, even though, for us, it always seems like the busiest time of year. Maybe it's beauty is compensation, in some way, for all the hustle and bustle that comes along with it in our house. And even though it is busy, we manage to take time out to enjoy what is happening all around us. For instance...
Hope is playing soccer this fall and, let me just tell you in the most objective way I can, she is GOOD. I'm serious. If you read my posts last May you may remember the timidity, the tears, the drama of soccer. She seems to have gotten over all that and is playing her little heart out. I just sit out there, all open-mouthed, with ridiculous tears in my eyes the whole time because she is all over that field. She is scoring goals right and left and it is a joy to watch. And it's not a joy because she scores goals. That is inconsequential to me, though I would never offend her by saying so. The thing is, I see her come alive out there. I can sense her little heart, fully engaged, full of joy and I can tell that this is the same heart that will be her gift to the world. Whatever she finally decides to throw it into, for the sake of Christ, will be her offering...her way of inviting those around her to experience His abundant life. Oh, I can see it and I could just weep for joy at the thought of it.
We also went, again this year, to the beautiful orchard that some friends of ours here own. Unfortunately we were a bit late for most of the apple picking, but we did get a few and we got some sweet pictures as well. We are determined to go earlier next year. Thankfully, another friend with a few apple trees came to the rescue and we got a big box of them. We are all set to make some apple sauce and apple butter...yum!
When is it that they start caring about the brown mushy spots in apples. Bella doesn't seem to mind.
Hope is using the apple picker here like a pro.
You need to notice that in this picture I am confidently wearing a shirt that, earlier that morning, had caused someone to ask me, "Oh, Amanda...when are you expecting?" That's right folks, she said it. I mean, come on! It's the style, right? RIGHT? Am I right? If she only knew how hilarious that was on so many levels. Oh well!
So, all fashion problems aside...here's to autumn. Enjoy! I know we are!