This weekend, I went to the country. Specifically, Wisconsin. It was beautiful. Bucolic. Tranquil. Rejuvenating. Restorative. I saw the Milky Way, sat around a camp fire with an amazing group of friends, and on more than one occassion questioned why I live in the city and whether I'll one day move to some place like this. A place like this would be amazing.
What was it like, you ask? Like a little slice of rolling hills-and-pastures heaven.
This was the message of the weekend:
I saw animals. Have I mentioned I L-O-V-E animals? I heart all things great and small. Except bugs. I don't like bugs. Or really any reptile. So maybe I just love all things mammalian and cute. And this goat totally qualifies, don't you think? I wanted to take her home with me. I would have named her Peaches. Even if she's a boy goat. I didn't get close enough to check if she was a she-goat or a he-goat.
We went apple picking, the most quintessential fall activity. The apples were great -- crisp, and tart and oh-so-delicious. I might have had a little apple drool going on. Still, they couldn't hold a candle the Black Twig apples my dad and I picked together every fall at an out-of-the-way orchard in Delaware. It was our favorite activity. Sometimes he surprises me and still mails me a bushel. Isn't he the sweetest Dad EVER?
The apples were everywhere. We climbed the trees, even though they told us not too. And we might have sampled one or two straight off the limb. We also took a picture of our friend Eve handing our friend Adam an apple. He handed her a leafy branch. We thought it was hysterical. They were less amused. But they're good sports.
Walking in the rows of apples, we found this old tractor. Apparently, it's named Oliver. Hi, Oliver.
I don't know if I'd call Oliver "standard." But someone did.
Here's Oliver in black and white. Regal, huh?
And the leaves. Oh, the leaves! They just made you want to grab a big crunchy pile and throw them at someone, and roll around in them, and smell fireplaces and listen for the cheer of high school football games. They make me want to have spiced cider and snuggle on a hay ride.
I love fall. It's my favorite season.
Some people prefer spring because everything is new and just waking up. I think that's fine. But I love fall because fall is all about change and growth. It's vibrant and vivid. It's about reassessing and collecting yourself for the challenges of winter. It's the calm before the storm. It reminds us that we're still learning and growing and changing and that we're different this year than we were last year. But we're still the same, too. We're red and brown and gold and orange. We're brilliant. We're dynamic. We're in transition.