Can’t wait to do it with you – Harvesting.

These posts are sort of little pep talks for myself. I’m trying to focus on the positives and think about the cool things I can/will do with my kid. Some of them will be new activities for me, others will be old favorites. Many will have strong positive memories of time spent doing them with my dad, while a few might have caused us to yell at each other. Either way it’s all part of the journey.

My wife and I are incredibly blessed by the fact that her parents live on a beautiful farm in Western Michigan. It is a truly beautiful and relaxing place. They have a few dozen apple trees and one of her cousins grows a few acres of heirloom pumpkins. You know where to look for me at harvest time! Actually I prefer to go just after the main harvest. All of cousin Ryan’s wholesale pumpkin obligations have been met, and what is left is fair game. There is something special about picking through the leftovers and finding the hidden gems. I always overload Lexie and spend the next several weeks processing pumpkins and making applesauce. But gathering the pumpkins from the field is the best part, and I can’t wait to have junior walking alongside me.

Unfortunately we are not headed north this year. Our fall schedule is just too busy. That is probably for the best though, as it has been a rough year on the farm. Deer have pretty much annihilated the pumpkins and a hard freeze killed most of the apples and pears. Cousin Ryan is going to be very challenged to meet his wholesale pumpkin obligations.

But in the coming years I hope we are able to spend considerable time on the farm in October, ideally the whole month if possible. The weather is perfect, the leaves are changing (for the last three years we have visited a couple of weeks before their peak, so I would like to be around when they are at their best), and it is the middle of football season. Even though Michigan is “enemy territory”, I enjoy watching games with my in-laws.

It will obviously be a few years before our son is really able to help pick pumpkins and apples, but from a very young age I want him to be involved. He can point to the specimens he wants me and my wife to pick for him, and can ride around the fields in the Cushman. Hopefully he will enjoy being involved with carving the pumpkins, making applesauce, and other things that we do with the fruit. They grow some really cool gourds and I want to dry them out and make birdhouses with him. I actually have some left from last year that I need to go ahead and practice on. Don’t want junior thinking that good old dad is anything less than an expert!