Family Sunday — “The Falling Leaves of Autumn”

Happy Autumn – Sunday – Family Day!

I  grew up raking leaves and jumping over and into leaf piles on Sunday afternoons. Then later raking them all into a pile over to where the summer vegetable garden had been and setting the pile on fire to burn them. Wonderful for improving the following season’s garden soil.  One of the most delightful scents of the year — burning leaves.  Crisp chilly days and the scent of burning leaves filling the air, an annual fall tradition and harbinger of the rapidly approaching holiday season and winter to follow.

"Falling Leaves" by John Sloane

“Falling Leaves” by John Sloane

I miss that. Many probably do not know the soul-comforting smell of burning leaves in the autumn air anymore. Nowadays the distinctive scents of autumn are gone, replaced by the endless droning of leaf blowers. Not the same to be sure, but as long as there are leaf piles to bury someone in, and to jump in and over until the legs call for a stop,  the back yards and front yards on a crisp autumn day can still be loads of family fun.

"Autumn Mood" by John Sloane

“Autumn Mood” by John Sloane

Autumn is a magical time of year. Shorter days. Chilly nights just right for a warming fire and sitting by the hearth. A refreshing cider or hot chocolate in hand.  Healthy exercise. Tossing a football and Frisbee, ultimately falling into the leaf pile with each catch.   A marvelous fall day to gather up all the family and head outdoors for a fun day of leaf raking – jumping – burying – leaping – collecting. Fresh air and exercise! And quality family time together, learning about the seasons and cycles of Mother Nature.

"Autumn Leaves" by John Sloane

“Autumn Leaves” by John Sloane

There are many old superstitions and beliefs about catching leaves in the fall.   Some folk believe it is good luck to catch a falling leaf.   Some even say that if you catch a falling leaf in autumn that you  will have a whole month of good luck. Others say that you should make a wish if you catch a falling leaf. There’s another school of thought that says if you catch a falling leaf on the first day of autumn you will not catch a cold all winter!

Pagan Europeans and some native North American cultures revered the oak tree and its leaves as sacred. Opinions differ on the professed benefits that accrue from catching falling leaves, whether on the actual first day of autumn or anytime during the autumn season.   Personally, I just think it’s fun, and made even more so on a windy day. “There it goes!”, and the chase is on.

Autumn Painting by John Sloane

Autumn Painting by John Sloane

Yet another tradition holds that you must keep the captured leaves until new green buds appear on the trees in the spring.  Only then can you safely dispose of them without the risk of ruining your fortunes.   As for me, I like to press them in heavy books with weights on top, and then coat them in Modge Podge, a clear coating to preserve and enjoy them all thru the year.  If you do that, be sure to catch them sooner than later, as newly-fallen leaves, more soft and supple to the touch, preserve and hold onto their colors much better than do the dried up, crinkly ones.

Here are some neat leaf projects to do with the little ones — Helping to teach them how to sew with Sewing Patterns on Leaves, Making Leaf Foxes, Leaf Chalk Art, and Making Fall Leaf Prints . And here is information on How To Preserve Fall Leaves. Check out and follow my Pinterest Boards for more ways to preserve autumn leaves, fun projects and information.  And more things “Autumn.”

"Autumn Shadows" by John Sloane

“Autumn Shadows” by John Sloane

So round up the family and head outdoors for a day of leaf-themed play.  Rake leaves. Gather and collect the most beautifully colored leaves and save them to press.  Catch a Frisbee and fall into a leaf pile.  See who can jump the biggest pile. Make some Leaf Art.  And most of all —  have fun!  The glorious season of autumn only comes once each year and is soon gone, giving way to winter.  So let’s enjoy it while we can.

Today’s Family Sunday writing featured the artwork of one of my favorite country artists, John Sloane. Visit his John Sloane Art Page for upcoming calendars and more information.

Thanks as always for visiting! And have a wonderful Family Day!  — Jim (and Red!)

ps — work on a special Christmas holiday short story featuring Little Red Bear and some of his friends is coming right along. Watch for it in December!

"Country Life" by John Sloane

“Country Life” by John Sloane

Old-fashioned, Family-friendly Stories and Fun for All Ages and Fitness Levels!
About an Uncommonly Special Bear and His Friends.

Sunday Family Day — At the Pumpkin Patch!

Shhhh! . . . . .    Quietly . . . . .   Listen . . . . . .    Wait for it . . . . . .

Do you hear it?  The almost imperceptible sound of a straining vine under pressure.  A snapping and heavy rolling along the ground.  And . . . . the ever-so-soft sound of dried hay, tumbling to the ground off a wagon . . . . and wheels . . . . tractor wheels rumbling along a dirt road.  Could it be . . . .  a hay ride?  Dry, rustling leaves in the breeze.  And crows.  Do you hear the crows, caw-caw-cawing from a field along the stream bank?

Thill and excitement fill smiling faces of young adults enjoying a seasonal hay ride. A scene of wholesome outdoor entertainment for a group of well dressed group of four people. Action filled shot as man on left throws hay into the air to the others surprise.

Family Fun on a Hayride (via GatlinburgLodgingGuide.com)

And do you smell it?  It’s very faint in the breeze . . . . the unmistakable scent of apple cider being poured into a glass.  And, oh!  Did you hear that?  And again?  The undeniable giggles and squeals of children playing and having fun.

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Happy Autumn!  Getting full swing into the beautiful autumn season now, with only eight days to Halloween.  Time to round up the family and head to the Pumpkin Patch!

It’s a beautiful autumn day to track down that perfect pumpkin for the front porch and partake in that grand old tradition of carving a pumpkin with the kids.  Carefully opening the top, scooping out the seeds (be sure to roast them and let none go to waste!), coming up with a design and carefully carving an eye-popping Jack O’Lantern for Halloween to summon the little Trick-or-Treaters next week.

holiday-halloween-smiling-pumpkin-3

But first, a visit to the Pumpkin Farm is in order to locate the ideal pumpkin.  Rows and rows of pumpkins patiently awaiting your arrival, each hoping to be the one selected for the ride home.  Tractors bumping along dirt roads and thru the fields, pulling wagon-loads of laughing children and families on hay rides.  Face painting.  Refreshing apple cider.  Delicious apple butter and more for sale.  Corn mazes and hay castles to crawl thru and climb.  Good times!  Fun times with the family!

Make this Sunday a family day and head out to the local pumpkin patch for a healthy  day of fresh air, exercise and delightful family fun, good times and memories.

Creating Memories at the Pumpkin Patch (via WoodTV.com)

Creating Memories at the Pumpkin Patch (via WoodTV.com)

Wishing everyone a beautiful, Sunday Family Day!  —  Jim (and Red!)

The Smith Family, by Sarah Whitwell Photography (SarahWhitwellPhotography.com}

The Smith Family, by Sarah Whitwell Photography (SarahWhitwellPhotography.com}

Old-fashioned, Family-friendly Stories and Fun for All Ages and Fitness Levels!
About an Uncommonly Special Bear and His Friends.

A Short Story for the Season — “Haystack Harry”

An eight-year-old boy from the city confronted by a tall, seedy-looking stranger, alone in a dark barn in the country.  What could possibly happen?

Relax, we don’t tell those kinds of stories here.  Sharing an entertaining, Free Short Story for the autumn season and weekend enjoyment — “Haystack Harry.”

Hope you enjoy.  Please feel free to Like, Comment and Share with friends, family and others.  Thanks as always for visiting!  Wishing everyone a beautiful fall weekend!  — Jim (and Red!)

 

(Spooky Barn image via Literary Hoarders Blog, WordPress.com)

(Spooky Barn image via Literary Hoarders Blog, WordPress.com)

— Brought To You By

Old-fashioned, Family-friendly Stories and Fun for All Ages and Fitness Levels!
About an Uncommonly Special Bear and His Friends.

Sunday Family Day — Putting “Family” Back Into Sundays!

Things tend to change over time.  Oftentimes for the better.  Sometimes not.

Sundays were family days a while ago.  Back in the days before over-hyped sporting events and media distractions began to dominate the scene and steal away quality time.  Sundays were spent relaxing from the weekly routine, the hustle and bustle, from the work grind and stress.  Reconnecting.  Spending time together. Going for Sunday afternoon drives thru the countryside.  Looking forward all day to Sunday dinner. Sundays were for staying in touch, returning to our center and to what is truly important — Family.

This is the first in a series of weekly Sunday posts dedicated to returning Sundays to Family Days.  Spending quality time with loved ones.  Each of us only gets so much time in our life and no one knows how much.  We can choose to invest the time given to us wisely, into what is most important to us and to the future of our children, or to fritter it away in frivolous pursuits which yield nothing but empty minutes passed and a longing for something more substantial  and connecting in our lives.  So many feel disconnected today.  Be and stay connected — with your family.

picnic-31-via-google-via-123rf-images-site

It is easier to withstand the storms of life, not being blown over by the random winds of misfortune, when we are grounded, anchored and held secure by family and loving roots.  Sundays are made for grounding and staying connected.  Our society, with so many challenges confronting families today, ranging from rampant drug use to negative social media influences and divisiveness, perhaps now more than ever, needs to rekindle that spirit of family togetherness and bonding.

The autumn season, with its refreshing and crisp air, is a perfect time to get the family together for a picnic.  Take a trip to the park and kick around a soccer ball.  Launch a Frisbee thru the air.  Play hide and seek.  Or even spread a blanket on the ground in the backyard and just have a fun time together tossing leaves about and grilling up some hot dogs or marshmallows.  If inclement weather, take that same blanket and make a tent in the family room. Spend the time together, and have Fun!  Experience, share and enjoy the Peace, Joy, and Love. They aren’t just words on a page.  Give them true life in your family, making lasting loving memories while forming the connections which strengthen and hold us together.

(Image Credit: Tori Watson Photography, The Haggards Family)

(Image Credit: Tori Watson Photography, The Haggards Family, blog.tori-watson.com)

Family time.  Together time.  Fun time.  Quality time.  The best time!  To be in our children’s memories tomorrow, we must be in their lives today.

children-parenting-time-spent

Thank You for stopping by to visit!  I hope you enjoy this new Sunday feature, and follow along each week as we work together to bring Family back into Sundays.  Spread the word to family, friends and neighbors.   What does your family do to stay connected?  Please feel free to share in the comments!  We are all in this together, after all.

Happy Sunday!  Happy Family Day!  Wishing everyone a beautiful autumn and family Sunday — together!  – – – Jim   (and Red!)

(Image via CanberraYourFuture.com)

(Image via CanberraYourFuture.com)

Old-fashioned, Family-friendly Stories and Fun for All Ages and Fitness Levels!
About an Uncommonly Special Bear and His Friends.

 

Happy Autumn! Back to Work on the Store!

Wishing everyone a beautiful first official day of Autumn as we say goodbye to summer today. Apples, pumpkins, cider and apple butter, hayrides, changing leaves on the hills, fall baking, cookies and so much more await as we lead up to the holiday season that seems to run from Halloween to the Super Bowl now.  The fall season brings a refreshing and invigorating freshness and revitalizing crispness to the air.  Comfortably warm days and welcome, blissfully cool nights.

Autumn Hills Foliage, Missouri Ozarks

Autumn Hills Foliage, Missouri Ozarks

A busy week ahead with much to do here. I took a little break from my online store over the summer, concentrating heavily on writing projects and developing new designs and patterns, but back to it in earnest now.  Writing is fun, the store pays for the groceries.

Five new bears were finished last week, along with a dozen antiqued Mini American Flags for bear and doll displays. The first in a new line of Handmade Wooden Mini Bear and Doll Chairs were finished as well. Rocking Chairs in different styles, and a “surprise” design of my own. Hope you like them!

Several new Sea Glass and Healing Stone Pendants have been wrapped and are ready, also.  I was fortunate enough to find some beautiful, rare red beach glass pieces over the summer, and have the first few finished.  Watch for them all to be listed into the store by the end of the week, with more new bears and other creations to follow.

Charles Wysocki Art, Making Flags

Charles Wysocki Art, Making Flags

Work continues on the Poetry Project with Charles Dickens still taking up residence in my mind, in addition to working with Little Red Bear to finish his first collection of short story adventures for release after the holidays. Busy times.

Separately, Rusty the Fairydiddle, the Blog Assistant here, left for an out of town assignment a few weeks ago and I have not heard from him lately. If anyone has seen him or knows of his whereabouts, please give a holler.  As you probably know, he will be the Red Squirrel carrying a notepad, among other things.  He was headed in the direction of Florida.  I will let you know if and when I hear something myself. Starting to get a little worried.

As always, thanks for reading and following along and have a great day! Happy Autumn! – Jim (and Red!)

Norman Rockwell- "Grandpa and Me: Raking Leaves",  Four Seasons Calendar, 1948

Norman Rockwell- “Grandpa and Me: Raking Leaves”, Four Seasons Calendar, 1948