For all of you (like myself) who are lamenting the impending doom that is winter in Central Illinois, good news! There are still some beautiful, semi-warm days left. Take advantage of them before they are gone!
Usually by this time of year I've started my yearly winter weight gain, dug out my sun lamp and waited for that seasonal-affective disorder to kick in.
Not this year.
We've been blessed with some pretty awesome days lately, and I'm making the most of them. Here are a few fun things to do when the skies are sunny, the air crisp but not biting, and the breezes still a bit southerly:
Take a walk
I walk the same route about 3-4 times a week. I never tire of it because the landscape is always changing. In the spring, I get to see the budding trees and the geese return to the lake. In the summer, I marvel at how green everything is and how many of the same people I pass that are out doing the same thing. In the fall, my tree-lined route is gorgeous with color. Now, as things start to look a little more barren, my view is extended beyond the trees and every once in a while I catch a deer or two, that at this point are so tame they seem oblivious to the walking traffic.
Have a cookout
We have a little fire pit in the backyard that we used most of the summer. As much as I enjoyed pairing the heat of the fire with the balmy evening temperatures, there's nothing like roasting hot dogs and marshmallows while snuggled up in sweatshirts and sipping some hot apple cider. The kids and I can't get enough of it.
Check out the apple orchards
We made our annual pilgrimage to Tanners this year just the other day - way late in the season. Because of this, we had the place to ourselves, and there was no charge for the playground. The pies were "Buy 2, get one free", so of course, we bought three frozen ones to get us through the dull days of winter. We sampled the apple cider, purchased some donuts for breakfast, and drove home around 5:00 while watching the farmers perform their late harvests by the light of a gorgeous sunset.
Get out in the yard
Sometimes it gets so cold so early I give up and leave it until spring. This past weekend it was so beautiful I just had to dig in and clean up. There's something somewhat therapeutic about raking leaves, cutting down dead plants and closing up for the summer - hoses put away... check. Patio furniture covered... check. Lawn mower drained... check. One less thing I have to do in the spring.
Enjoy these days - sometimes we in Central Illinois aren't always as blessed to have the fall we've had. There will be plenty of days not too far off where we'll be held captive in our homes - either due to cold, snow, or that ever-popular "wintry mix" that you know is on its way.
I know I'm doing my best to hold those days at bay as long as I possibly can.