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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Autumn in the Midwest


When I was growing up, I couldn’t imagine living in an area that didn’t have seasons, especially autumn. I loved the sound of rustling leaves. Is there anyone who does not enjoy watching the colors of the leaves change from green to yellow, red or orange? I remember the crispness of the air. If frost were on the pumpkin, we knew Thanksgiving was near.

I don’t get to experience those fall rituals now that I live in Texas. After months of high temperatures and no rain, I felt the need to experience autumn. I decided to go on a search for fall colors in Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois. My journey took me from Green Bay to Des Moines.

In my opinion, you can’t celebrate fall without enjoying football. A tour of Lambeau Field is worth the price. (Although, I enjoy the warm Texas nights watching grandsons playing high school games more than watching pro games. Go, Wakeland Wolverines!)

The Shrine of Our Lady of Champion is also nearby. In 1871, the grounds of the chapel were left untouched as the Great Peshtigo Fire destroyed thousands of surrounding acres around Green Bay.

The drives along the east and west coasts of the Mississippi River are listed as two of the most scenic drives in the United States. That is definitely true as I was surrounded by fall colors. I always enjoy going to our National Parks. The Effigy Mounds in Iowa preserve Indian burial grounds. The Park Rangers are very informative and helpful. But the climb up to the biggest mounds and most breathtaking vistas can be challenging for people like me who haven’t exercised regularly. But I made it!

Autumn is also the time for the World Series. As I traveled the rolling highways and byways of Iowa, I had to stop at the Field of Dreams.

Then I discovered the Wilson’s Apple Orchard. A tractor ride provided a way to see the orchard, the pumpkin patch and the Sunflower Garden. Add in a cup of cider slush as local musicians played country music on a Sunday afternoon. Life is good.

I’m thankful that I got a chance to enjoy autumn in the Midwest. Now I’m ready to move into the holiday season. I hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend, a time to be grateful for all the things that are good in our lives.

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Sue Jelinek
Sue Jelinek
Sue Jelinek welcomes story ideas from ship to shore. Contact her at jelinst@sbcglobal.net.