Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Autumn Activities

Last weekend was one of those weekends you never wanted to end. The weather was absolutely perfect (a day for the books) and the city of Chicago was alive. Fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year and is a season that seems to end without any warning. It is also happens to be one of favorite seasons.

This is my third Autumn in Chicago and sadly my fall to-do list had nothing crossed off. Every year I would tell myself that this was the year I would go to the Morton Arboretum and visit the local Farmer's Markets. My weekends in the Fall are usually filled with watching my college football team, traveling, and social plans, leaving me with limited time to plan ahead. I was starting to worry that another Fall would come and go and my Autumn activities would remain on my list. So this weekend I did them.

Saturday morning was spent with my friend Jenn traveling from one Farmer's Market to the next. Each market was unique in their own way. A small market was in a school parking lot in Lakeview, another one was in the heart of two streets in downtown Chicago, and our last stop was at the Chicago Green City Market in Lincoln Park. Every market was filled with the smells and colors of Autumn and you couldn't deny the energy of the people all around you.We wanted to try everything- so we did. From cheeses to carmel apples, Jenn and I took full advantage of trying samples and talking with vendors. Seeing the farmers interact with their frequent customers has motivated me to become a more local grocery shopper so I can support their work and their love for what they do. The time and energy that these farmer's place into the foods we eat (and take for granted) has really made me gain a whole new appreciation and I encourage you to visit your local farmer's markets to see for yourself.

Finally the day had come for me to go see the Morton Arboretum. Sunday was another beautiful fall day- perfect for exploring the forest preserve in Lisle, Illinois. As I walked through this nature preserve away from the hustle and bustle of the city, I was distracted by all the colors and beauty of this treasured place. Fall was alive and everywhere in the arboretum. The colors were vibrant and all you could hear were the sounds of nature. Having that time to be away and "tuned" out from the daily stresses and demands is something everyone needs to do for themselves. We rarely take the time to stop and appreciate what is going on in front of us and I was able to do that on my walk through the Morton Arboretum.

Autumn marks the transition from summer to winter and the season of the primary harvest. As the colorful leaves begin to fall from the trees and the weather grows colder, the world around us is preparing for the next season to come. It is hard to believe how quickly a season passes by and how easy it is to be distracted by our daily life demands. It is so important for you to make time for yourself to be out enjoying and experiencing the tastes and sights of Autumn. There are so many things I still want to do before winter is here and I already cannot wait to plan them.

What is your favorite thing about the Fall? What Fall activities have you done so far?

 "Change is a measure of time and, in the autumn, time seems speeded up. What was is not and never again will be; what is is change." - Edwin Way Teale

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