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Happy Fall Y’all

Happy Fall Y’all

Fall is the season for all senses. The feel of cooler temperatures after a long summer. A warm, visually pleasing palate of reds, oranges, yellows, and browns. The taste of pumpkin in everything. The sound of crunching leaves underfoot—the smell of woodsmoke. There’s something about driving past a house with smoke coming out of the chimney on a cold day that makes me warm and fuzzy inside.

The many elements of autumn either intrinsically deliver happiness or trigger wonderful memories of past joy from which we can keep taking bites, as from a freshly baked apple pie.

You all know I am a sap for memories and making memories. While we celebrate seasonal joys, we should remind ourselves that they all bring us different kinds of happiness.

Like spring, fall is a season of transition, a reminder of the value of change, in this case, from bright, buzzing, hot, verdant summer toward the dark, cozy, quiet calm of winter.

I love the transitioning of each season, but my favorite is the transition from summer to fall.

Sayonara hot weather! Peace out, sweaty upper lip.

Autumn is the loveliest. We witness the harvest moon, pumpkins, football games, wildflowers blooming along roadsides, squirrels secreting away nuts, and the first frost. Pumpkins on porches, chilly mornings, and earlier night fall. Pumpkin lattes make their big appearance, while apple cider, vanilla chia, and hot cocoa also fill mugs during the fall season. I love a hot mug of vanilla chai while bundled up with my fall blanket that I anxiously wait all summer to get out. My fuzzy blanket is adorned with pumpkins, leaves, pumpkin pies with dollops of cool whip, mugs of cider with a cinnamon stick, and latte cups with the colors of candy corn.

When God made all the seasons, he knew what he was doing. God always knows what he is doing. Fall is proof that change is beautiful. I just think it’s so amazing how each season truly has its own beauty.

In the spring, everything comes to life. Buds on trees start to show, flowers bloom from the ground that was frozen for the past five months, and we can once again feel the warmness of the sun on our faces.

In summer, everything is so full of life — vibrant and green. As we ride our boat down the river and look up to the mountains next to us, everything looks so big and full. The mountains are truly one of God’s beautiful creations.

In the fall, something magical happens to those mountains. We start seeing incredible colors of reds, oranges, browns, and yellows. No two leaves are the same. Isn’t that remarkable!? Driving through the mountains in the fall is one of my favorite things. “Oh my word, look at that tree!” I’ll say to Chris.

I didn’t know a tree could get so orange, with specks of red through it.

As mid to late October sneaks up, leaves start falling from the sky. There is something magical about leaves falling in the fall. At our home, there are many trees behind us. As I stand in our kitchen window making dinner, the leaves look like a snowfall because there are just so many. The deer come to feed, and their coats are changing for winter.

All of a sudden, all the leaves are gone, the trees stand bare once again, and the mountains seem so much smaller. But, that first snowfall that covers those trees with a gorgeous layer of pure white snow is picturesque. The mountains once again stand out with their greatness. I love how snow looks on pines or when it rains and freezes on the branches overnight. It looks like something out of a fairytale! Just like leaves in the fall, there are no two snowflakes alike. It’s just remarkable! Each season just has so much to offer. I am thankful in Pennsylvania that we get to experience every season.

I thank God for the blessings of each season, and especially the ‘Ber’ months. It’s these four months that give me so much joy. More time with the family, special holidays, the many colors of fall, and the first snowfall. I could watch leaves and snow fall all day long. What joy does this season bring for you?

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Crumb Cake
• 1 cup pumpkin
• 1 egg
• 1/2 cup brown sugar
• 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 cup flour
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/8 teaspoon ginger
• A pinch of nutmeg & clove
Cream Cheese Layer:
• 8 oz cream cheese
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 3 tablespoons white sugar
Streusel Ingredients:
• 3/4 cup white sugar
• 1/4 cup brown sugar
• 1/2 cup flour
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon ginger
• 1/8 teaspoon cloves
• 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 6 tablespoons cold butter

Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease an 8×8 inch square pan.

Combine the pumpkin, egg, brown sugar, vegetable oil, and vanilla in a mixing bowl.

Stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices and stir into the pumpkin mixture, mixing just until combined.

Spread into the prepared pan.
Cream Cheese Layer:

Mix together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla for the cream cheese layer and spread over the cake batter in the pan.

Combine all the streusel ingredients using your hands or a pastry blender until well combined. Sprinkle over the cream cheese mixture.

Bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with no more pumpkin on it (it’s ok if the cream cheese is still sticking to the toothpick).

Chill in the refrigerator before serving and keep chilled.