“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.” – Stanley Horowitz.

Whether you refer to the season between summer and winter as autumn or fall, it’s a beautiful time of year. Take a moment to Google “autumn vs. fall” for an interesting explanation of the two words for the same season.

Autumn (my preferred word) is my favorite season. The summer heat has passed and the winter cold is still distant. Leaf colors are glorious and the sky seems bluer and the sun brighter. I get the itch for fall decorating right around Labor Day. The season may not be official yet but, like most Baby Boomers, I grew up in a time when school started the day  after Labor Day and we referred to it as “back to school in the fall.”

This time of year we need to takу advantage of the moderate temperatures and lovely environment and stay physically active before cold winds, ice and snow make it difficult to enjoy outdoor activities.

If you’re stuck for ideas, hopefully this list will spur your imagination!

• Visit a local pumpkin patch with family or friends and have a carving contest with roasted pumpkin seeds as a snack.
• Go for a leisurely walk and soak in the surroundings: the colors, the crunch of the leaves and the autumn scents in the air. Not sure what some of the leaves are? Look them up on the internet or at your local library.
• Prepare for spring. Throw down some new seed and plant some bulbs. Add a protective layer of soil, mulch or leaves to keep them safe from frost.
• Nothing compares to the aroma of fresh apples, which are are at their prime during the fall. Visit an orchard to pick fresh apples for a pie and enjoy some cold or warm apple cider. Mmmm, can’t you just taste it?!
• If you haven’t navigated a corn maze, add it to your list! It’s an easy pace but challenging at the same time.
• Roast squash (so many delicious types!), sweet potatoes (have you tried purple ones?), parsnips, Brussels sprouts, tri-colored carrots and other root vegetables for a fall inspired side dish.
• Try polka dancing at an Oktoberfest celebration. Will you join me in the Chicken Dance?
• Tour a winery, brewery or distillery. Walking provides the activity, and the tasting is your prize at the end.
• Attend a fall festival, or two, or three. Indiana is a mecca of fall festivals.
• Don’t overlook your mental health. On Nov. 1, start a gratitude journal and write down one thing every day throughout the month for which you are thankful. Then share your thoughts with your family on Thanksgiving.

There are abundant ways to celebrate autumn while sneaking in some healthy activities and foods. Whatever fun you choose, enjoy it to the fullest!

By Carol Dixon, Contributing Writer

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