The memories come clear while looking over the photographs. The sky blue and speckled with white is a stunning backdrop for those children scaling the hay bale tower, hurling themselves across the gap as though it's a canyon to be crossed, scrambling up hay-steps as big as themselves. The littlest, she sits hesitant, careful of every move, watchful of the bigger children all around. She squeals with her big sisters in the wheelbarrow as daddy pushes them toward the rows of pumpkins. The sun glows warm and soft through the stalks of corn, falling gently across the forehead of the little girl peeking around the edges of the maze. We bump through orchards on hay bales pulled by a tractor, the hayride the two big girls later declared was their favorite of the whole trip.
We pick more apples, wandering through the orchard here at home with my parents during their weekend visit, discovering that the neighbors still have a couple of cows out in their pasture. We watch the cat leap and hunt through the trees as we stroll in the shifting light under the trees. Apples bake in a flaky crust and roast simmers with vegetables.
Today the clouds hang low and I am wearing cozy socks as I sip my tea and try to beat a cold. We are eating Dinner in a Pumpkin tonight. Fall is definitely here.