Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fall For Fall

By Molly McGrath

Summertime brings “summer loving” and in spring “love is in the air.” We even have a holiday where a little man in a diaper shoots us with arrows and makes us fall in love with one another right smack in the middle of winter.

Fall is all alone. Fall gets a bad rap sometimes, stealing summer away the way it does. In my humble opinion, though, it is the greatest time of year. I have had an ongoing love affair with fall since I was a little girl. I can smell it in the air in the last weeks of summer. I can’t help but smile the first day it’s cool enough to wear jeans and a jacket. My feet jump for joy when I retire my flip-flops and pull out my socks, sneakers, and boots. I believe that there should be a celebration of love in autumn, just as there is for every other season. That celebration will start right here—it’s time to fall in love with fall.

The first reason to love fall is a no-brainer—just open your eyes. Our state isn’t called “The Garden State” by accident. Fall in New Jersey is beautiful. The changing leaves paint a picturesque backdrop to our daily lives for an entire season! Go outside and take it all in. There are plenty of parks and forests calling your name. Find one near you at the New Jersey Department of Parks & Forestry’s website,

Reason #2 to fall in love with fall: Harvest activities. Apple picking, pumpkin picking-carving-or-painting, corn mazes, festivals. Who could ask for anything more? What could be better than spending the day with your family sipping apple cider and munching on donuts in a sweater and jeans? Who doesn’t love crisp, cool, sunny days? Or grab your friends and make your way through a corn maze—you may become hopelessly lost, but at least you’ll be together. Check out the Tewksbury Harvest Festival on September 26 at Christie Hoffman Farm in Califon, visit one of the many “pick your own” farms in our state, or head out to Stony Hill Farm in Chester for “Maize Quest” the biggest corn maze in the state!

Foliage and fall festivals are the obvious reasons to love autumn, but for me, there is a less recognized one too.

Fall is a great time to help others. September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Women, join the fight for yourselves and for each other. Men, join the fight for the women in your life. The Kaleidoscope of Hope Foundation will hold three walk-a-thons across the state this September. Visit to find out how you can get involved. Then, in October, take up the fight during Breast Cancer Awareness month. Visit and find out how you can participate in a Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5k.

With Labor Day behind us it’s time to face the facts: summer’s days are numbered. But the doldrums of winter are still months away! So before you let your summer lovin’ go into hibernation, try having a fling with fall.

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