Just traveled through Northeastern Georgia to the mountains of North Carolina. We have the privilege of enjoying the autumn in the tranquil and beautiful area between the Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway. The month of October color bursts forth in each and every hardwood tree in a breath taking and dramatic way. A place to be inspired by God's beautiful creation.
While heading to our final destination we spotted at a Fruit Stand - Corn Maze – Hayride – Bakery - Ice Cream Store and Pumpkin Patch. Yes they were all there together in one rural location. What a great place to be! We just had to stop and see which of their offerings we couldn’t live without. Parking in an absolutely full parking lot with another load of pumpkins being brought in I set off to tour the place. Found myself heading into the huge the fruit stand to see what great fare was awaiting.
I was picking through the produce and drooling over the baked items that were in complete dietetic conflict with any fresh vegetables that I had in my cart. But trust me these items were just as important as the healthy fare. Heading toward the register I walked by a table of four little 8 to 9 year old girls. They were sitting with their hot apple cider, fried apple pies (yes fried, it is the south you know) chattering about the fun they just had in the corn maze. They were laughing and teasing each other about exactly how lost they had become. Voting loudly on which girl was the most directionally challenged in the world of mazes. Their mothers pulled up with shopping carts at this indoor-outdoor stand excited about the fresh apples they were buying to take home to eat.
Watching this group it warmed my heart. I mean how great is this to head out from home on a Saturday morning with friends or family spending $5.00 to get lost in a cornfield for two hours. Relishing the great outdoors in Northern Georgia and leaving behind the scurry of normal lives, technology and demands. Then to end your time with hot apple cider and the best fried pie you’ve ever had. I’m sure after this exciting day those girls slept soundly with fresh air in their lungs and peaceful dreams in their imaginations.
In life it’s these times that create the great memories that will be with us when our daughters leave home to go to college, get their own pay the rent job or marry. It’s not the hustle of homework, computers, carpooling or frantic life that stays in your hearts or your daughters. It’s the special step-away from life times that endure. So you may not be near a corn maze or a great fruit stand but I have to encourage you to find your life step-away. What about a Frisbee in the park, a creek side picnic, a bicycle ride or backyard tent to create a memory? If you can’t get away from home pull out a pile of newspapers, magazines, feathers, fabric scraps, whatever you have with glue, scissors and poster board and create. Make a collage with your daughter that she chooses her favorite things in life to cut out and display. Or just take all of the stuff a make your very own “art”.
Now that my daughters are grown those are the days we treasure. Those are the memories that last. There’s also another great by product. Those times together serve to give a wonderful life balance to the days that you inevitably have to say, hurry up, homework done yet, get off the computer, no you can’t go out tonight, turn down the stereo, whatever the life stress may be. When those stressful days come the relationship built through the special times make the tensions a little less and the frustration a bit shorter. And the great memories will truly last a lifetime.