The best fall traditions, it’s not all about pumpkin spice lattes

Emma Knudson, Staff writer

As the rotation of the earth around the sun wills it, we’re back in the fall season. This year, it was welcomed in the area, as the 90 degree weather lingered longer than welcomed. With the arid days behind us, we can finally look forward to a few of the best things about fall.

1. Food: Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bars, spaghetti squash, turkey, chili, crock pot meals, and so much more. It’s safe to say that every season/ holiday time is centered around the food, and the fall season has some of the best foods. Is there a better feeling than curling up in a quilt by the fire- place with a fat bowl of your mom’s homemade chili watching football or playing cards? Or finally sitting down to Thanksgiving after fasting all morning for the big event? Summer barbecue’s are great, but fall chili nights are pure comfort. Also, this is the time of year that you can buy 500-piece variety bags of candy on the low and *claim* that it’s for trick-or- treaters. What a time to be alive.

2. Going to the pumpkin patch/apple orchard: Pick your own pumpkins and apples. Play corn hole as you sip on a fresh apple cider. Share caramel corn. Take a hayride with one or two screaming kids. Count how many people are wearing puffy vests over their flannels.A few hours at your local pumpkin patch will definitely brighten your fall spirits and make you feel extra pumpkin spice.

3. Entertainment: There are fall harvest festivals featuring cool concerts and amazing seasonal foods, horror movies at the drive in or in the comfort of your own home, numerous televised sporting events running nearly every day, haunted houses and corn mazes where people are paid to chase you around with chainsaws and threaten (fake) death at your stumbling feet. While many people think fall is boring, they just haven’t looked around hard enough. Take those people to that haunted corn maze and tell them it’s the regular, non-haunted one, then act like you have no clue what’s going on. That’ll be a sure good time for both you and your friend(s).

4. Giving back: On a more thoughtful note, and with Thanksgiving being one of the crutch holidays of the fall season, giving back to the community or your own family is a staple in every fall tradition. With numerous 5K runs donating to charity (which is more fun than people give it credit for), fall harvest events, and food drives, there’s no shortage when it comes to reputable options. It’s also important because the changing seasons means colder weather. Those who are homeless or at-risk are more vulnerable to the cold, wet elements— those extra wool socks and an old coat from the 90s could make a world of difference to someone in need.

Honorable mentions: Jumping in leaf piles (that’s just nasty here in Oregon. They’re all wet. It’s like your jumping in a pile of bottom-of-the- batch day-old nachos).

Carving pumpkins (okay, I know I said in the list above that it was fun, but honestly, it’s only so-so. The effort and the nasty “guts” of the pumpkin isn’t worth the turnout of a horribly carved pumpkin. Might be fun if you’re good at it).

Collecting pine cones (this was a legit fall tradition. This is a chore, not a fun activity like cards and chili night! But if that’s your shtick, then that’s your shtick), and Black Friday (I don’t even need to get into this one).