Autumn is my favorite time of the year — cool, crisp weather, trees of all types transitioning from their standard leaves to shades of red, orange, gold, brown and even purple, piles of leaves, high school and college football games and pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere.
Not only do we eat pumpkins, we use them for decorating. Plain or carved into jack-o'-lanterns, they grace our porches and lawns, while pumpkin pies are a staple for many Thanksgiving dinners.
Last year in October, I journeyed to the Dallas Arboretum and spent a day with my grandson, Jacob, visiting their display featuring varieties of pumpkins I didn't know existed.
I've since learned there are pumpkin patches all over Oklahoma. Google “Oklahoma Pumpkin Patches” to find one nearest you. Not only will you find pumpkins, some offer petting zoos and hayrides.
The one with which I am most familiar is the McLemore Pumpkin Farm, owned and operated by Bob and Aquilla McLemore, near the town of Colony in southwestern Oklahoma. You can visit their website at www.mclemorepumpkinfarm.com.
At the McLemore Pumpkin Farm, you will find a field of pumpkins where you can pick your own, as well as several varieties of fresh cut pumpkins, gourds, hay bales and yard decorations. And because farming is their business, you never know what new baby animals you will see.
In a couple of weeks we celebrate Halloween — one of the world's oldest holidays, dating back to pagan times. Despite its origins, today it has nothing to do with evil, devil worship or satanic forces.
It is celebrated today by more people in more countries than ever before. There's a simple reason: it is good, clean, harmless fun for young and old alike.
Whether it is because of autumn, Halloween or Thanksgiving, this is the time of year to find a pumpkin patch. Go with children and grandchildren. Plan an outing for a community or church group, or make it a field trip for school classes.
A visit to a pumpkin patch is the perfect way to celebrate the season.
Charlotte Lankard is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.