This weekend exemplified everything I love about October. Pumpkins, leaves, gorgeous blue skies, Homecoming festivities, football, family. We began our busy weekend with a trip to our college alma mater for Homecoming. The Hubby and I met there in the fall of 1997, and although we didn’t date until after he graduated, the campus is still filled with romance for us. It’s truly a special place. The four of us walked around, saw a few familiar faces, and soaked up the atmosphere. We closed our trip with a visit to a local institution that embodies everything I love about dear old places. Shorty’s Lunch, or just “Shorty’s,” is a tiny hot dog shop that is all charm and no frills. The booths are old and chipped. The menu is a small plastic board on the wall behind the counter. Hot dogs, cheeseburgers, fries, and three dinner choices: that’s it and that’s plenty.
Our next stop was the farm. Not far from the college campus, a family-run farm offers hayrides, pumpkins, a petting zoo, fresh milk and cheese, homemade ice cream, country foods, and activities for kids. Great stuff, but we were on a strictly pumpkin mission. After a very brief look at the brand new baby pigs (so cute!) and a grouchy old sheep, we took a tractor-pulled hayride up to the pumpkin patch.
I snapped a few photographs to capture the pumpkin patch experience, but I had to put down the camera. I didn’t want to miss the moment, living only through a camera’s lens. The sky was so, so blue. The corn was tall and lush, and the breeze made it whisper. Between mud and vines, the most beautiful shade of orange peaked through. And every so often, we spotted a bumpy yellow gourd or golden pumpkin blossom. The boys laughed and squealed as they trotted through a hay stack maze. When we stood very still in the country quiet, the low voices of cows drifted through the corn stalks. As a country girl transplanted to an urban neighborhood, I could have stayed in that moment forever. But our plans weren’t through!
Back in the car, we traveled to our primary destination of the day—the baptism of our godson. Neither my husband nor I have been godparents before, but having grown up in the Catholic Church, the former altar boy was able to prep this little Protestant girl for the basic logistics of the ceremony. I was really nervous about standing there with both of my wiggly sons in tow, but aside from the little one’s brief protests and the older one’s admonition to the priest (“Don’t put him under!”), the baptism was a success. Afterward the four of us and the baby’s family had dinner at a delightful English pub-style restaurant. I felt so good chatting with my dearest friend in the world, cooing over her precious baby, and realizing how deeply satisfying my life is when the important things come first.