Fall, My Favorite Time Of Year by James Gherardi

Fall is underway, and as September comes to a close we begin to see change. Change on the colors of the trees, change in the crisp coolness of the air. Everything begins to get colder. This is hands down, my favorite time of the year.

Pumpkins are plentiful, apples are everywhere and it's these two items: pumpkins and apples that for some reason trigger the most vivid childhood memories for me.

Growing up in New York, you live for apple picking season. Come October 1, it was like every New Yorker got a memo reading: "Ok - it's time! Get to the orchard and start picking!" My family and I would flock to our local apple orchard every year; bringing home baskets upon baskets of Mcantosh, Cortland, Gala, Empire, and Junagold.

We would get home, after snacking on a few in the car, and begin the arduous, tedious, and laborious but yet incredibly addicting process of cooking a quintessential apple pie. My Mom had a knack for this. The smells that would emanate from our kitchen would hypnotize me. Captivate me in a drooling daze. I love that smell and to this day when it fills my nostrils, I'm riveted back to my childhood, sitting in my kitchen, watching my Mom pile a baking dish high with apples.

Pumpkin picking is another favorite from this kid's childhood. Halloween is only a few days after my birthday. It was to me, like a second celebration. I would often combine my birthday celebration with a Halloween theme, as an excuse to get loads of candy - in addition to a birthday cake. One staple at every birthday / Halloween celebration: a pumpkin.

For this reason, orange is my favorite color; has been for as long as I can remember. There's nothing like going to a pumpkin patch at the peak of foliage season and plucking a perfect pumpkin from its vine. Coming home to carve it was an even better process. Being able to see a pumpkin go from a growing plant to a lit jack-o-lantern is one of the most exciting processes a five year old boy can witness.

I encourage everyone to get out and really enjoy the fall. This season has so many incredible, exciting events to offer you and your family. Not to mention the beauty of being outside during this time of year is second to none. Autumn is Awesome and is hands down this guy's favorite season.