It happens this time every year. People joke and call it "Morton's World Fair" but the truth is that Morton's annual Pumpkin Festival is a time of friendships old and new, fun, community, music, pumpkins ushering in fall... and my personal favorite... apple cider slushies! Wednesday and Thursday are our community days and weekend brings people in from all over. Yes, even from across the country.
Why? Some would say it is the pumpkin pancakes and ice cream. Others, the local meat grilled fresh by some of Morton's finest grillmasters. Pumpkin donuts are a hit with my family... and my extended family coming in from Clifton. The truth is that at this season of the year, all hearts long to be home.
Other places have sand, sun and beaches every day. We have seasons that change. The wait for each new season is a lesson in patience. I typically flunk the patience lesson, trying to hurry things along, but I am learning as I go that the wait is part of the lessons we are to learn here.
In 110 days, 2018 will slip away, but there is so much to savor this season. I don't want to rush it. I must choose to experience it more slowly. Take in each little moment of magic. There are so many.
One of my favorite fall miracles is the Jr. High Band successfully marching in the Pumpkin Festival Parade. It is hard to believe that after just a few weeks of band, the junior high band is able to walk in a line, while playing instruments at the same time. Kristina Fitzpatrick and all of the other staff who lead them daily in lessons and training amaze me.
I adore the middle school aged student, but with their rapidly growing feet, arms and legs... just walking is a challenge some days. To see them marching in sync, playing a song you will all recognize and enjoy is more than a pleasure. It is the realization that something pretty impressive just happened! It is part of the wonder of the Pumpkin Festival.
Tonight, we have some traditions with the Leanders. We will try to make schedules work to share our Pumpkin Fest meal in the food tent. Soon family will head this way for what is as anticipated as the holidays.
The hometown festival is special. Be it Turkeys, Marigolds, Tulips, Cherries, Fun Days, Good Neighbors or Friendship... every festival calls hearts home. Look at my verse of the day:
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! -Philippians 4:4
Today, I am grateful the 365 day wait is over.