1. Apple Picking – We did our apple picking in mid September. As we get further into the fall, more and more of our neighbors are headed out to the orchards. It seems that this is a pretty standard outing for Minnesotans that have kids. I can only imagine the orchards get more beautiful as the season progresses. I still have apples in my refrigerator, so we won’t be heading back out.
2. Pumpkin Patches – With Halloween quickly approaching, the pumpkins are out in force. From front porches and craft stores to grocery stores and open lots, these guys are everywhere. The once green lot, that previously covered the nearby corner, has been cut back to reveal hundreds of perfect pumpkins, all waiting to be perfect jack-o-lanterns. I think we will wait to get our pumpkin until we get closer to Halloween. Hopefully we can avoid the droopy moldy pre-Halloween pumpkin mess.
3. Leaves – Red, orange, yellow, and green describe the most beautiful leaves that we have ever seen. All of the leaves have started to change with the exception of the few trees that are evergreens or late changers. Maya, who is a collector of everything, is in absolute Heaven. I think she is physically incapable of leaving the house without picking up the leaves. We have been driving up and down random streets to take in the beauty of the trees. There are some amazing trees in this town.
4. Hunting – Hunting appears to be a really big deal here. It is strange and a bit unsettling to wake up to the echo of not-so-far-off gunshots. In California, god forbid that there be shooting in your neighborhood for any reason, it is almost always followed by police sirens, helicopters, yellow tape, and a coroner. Here in Minnesota, it’s a sport, and you get a license to participate. As a matter of fact, you can obtain a drivers license and a hunting license without having to change lines at the licensing office. Driving home a week ago we saw several very young adults walking down the side of the street with camouflage outfits and their hunting gear. Andrew, thought they were Boy Scouts from a distance.
Just in case anyone was wondering, the Von Hanson’s Meat Market, here in town, will process your deer for you for only $75. Sorry, I can’t get passed the thought of that.
5. Viking Football/Any football really – It’s not Green Bay, but there is no shortage of team spirit in this town. Although, they lost, the local high school just celebrated Homecoming. We had a blast at the parade, but decided to skip the game. Ethan loves to see all the kids out practicing on the local fields. The Minnesota Viking’s have a training center just up the road in Eden Prairie. As soon as it was obvious that the Twins would not be advancing to the post season festivities (big surprise), the state became flooded with purple and gold. They even have special busses that take you into the city to see the games.
6. School & Sport Fundraisers – This is not really unique to Minnesota, but it still makes the list. We have already supported a local volleyball team, a local hockey team, and of course, our daughter’s school. Keep in mind that school has been in session only since the beginning of September.
7. Box Elder Beetles – What the heck? These beautiful little black and red beetles seem to like the south-facing garage door of the house. I am not really sure where they came from or why they like the door. They just arrived one day and appear to have set up camp. I am told they are harmless. I think the Box Elder Beetles are way better than the mosquitoes though, so I guess I will let them stay.
8.) Tennis shoes – When we arrived here in August, the temps were in the 80’s and there we a ton of shorts and flip-flops roaming around. Now that it is October and the temps are in the 80’s it seems that people are headed more towards shorts and tennis shoes. It is actually unseasonably warm for this time of year, I am being told. I love it.
9.) Shorter Days – It is sad to see the long days of summer getting shorter and shorter. Instead of 9:00ish, it is getting dark here around 7:30ish. I kind of like this. The kids find it more difficult to go to bed when it is bright and sunny out. Add warmth to that, and who can blame them for not wanting to go to bed.
10.) Fall marks the end of Tornado Season – Need I say more!!!!!!!!!!