AUTUMN IN MICHIGAN
By Peggy Bennitt
Wow! We’re half way through fall, and winter is already nipping at autumn’s heels. Although the cold weather is clearly on its way, Michigan can be beautiful this time of year. All the glorious reds, oranges, and yellows of the leaves, as they turn and then leave the trees in a blaze of glory, etch such beauty on the earth; a masterpiece from the Creator’s paintbrush. Man’s hand can never match that workmanship from the Master Painter, but He does allow us to join in His handiwork through inspired paintings, words, and photographs. A recent afternoon found me watching leaves drift and swirl on the chilly wind and slowly settle to the ground.
I remember many years when raking and burning leaves were complimented by the children frolicking in the fallen leaves, raking them up only to raze the huge piles again and again. Jumping or falling into the mass, and spreading the neatly raked leaves indiscriminately over the ground again, was anticipated with great glee by our children.
Time and seasons march on, but as the old adage says, “the more they change, the more they remain the same.” As I watch my husband and grandchildren rake and burn or “blow” our huge yard with Papa’s tractor, and hear the cries of “Papa, look at me!” or “Grammy, watch this,” I thank God for these snapshots in time and the precious memories that His workmanship graces us with.
Later, we retire to our home, and the “Grands” drag out the old costumes from Grammy’s Attic and spend hours mixing and matching costume parts to come up with new and “designer original” creations for this Halloween season. Papa gets into the act as the “Grands” use him as their mannequin for new and dubious get-ups of questionable origins. A feather boa, Woody’s gun, a pirate’s hat, substituted for the cowboy hat discarded on the table, and we have…what do we have? I’d like to say this is creative minds at work… But, hmmmmm, maybe it’s the white socks and flip flops that boggle my mind and leave me speechless.
Weather changes come quickly to the mid-west, and the goblins and princesses, pumpkins and goodies will be seen in abundance soon. The smell of apple cider, freshly baked donuts, the spicy cinnamon-smell of applesauce and apple butter, all combine with the smell of burning leaves and freshly made hot cocoa to announce the wonder of autumn in Michigan. The nip of frost, the crisp crunch of the leaves beneath booted feet, the chilled wind that smells of snow…yeah, we are truly blessed to live here.
The Mid-West, with its multi-seasonal beauty, is hard to beat for splendor or variety. Each time zone of our great land has a beauty all its own, but Michigan seems to have a little bit of each of the other states wrapped up in…a mitten.