It is no big secret that I am not a fan of the heat (though I will miss the beach terribly)! So, bring on the chilly, light jacket weather! I am glad we can finally enjoy the vibrant change in color throughout the mountains, long pants and boots, and warm beverages by the fire.
Fall is that special time between the baking heat of summer and the bone chilling cold of winter – like a gift from God between two difficult seasons. For some, however, Fall is not that exciting. Some are battling health problems, old age, broken hearts, financial pressure, or work stress. They are not frolicking in the crunchy leaves. They need someone to come alongside them and toss them a lifeline.
So, why not offer them one? We may not be able to resolve all their circumstances, but we can provide something if nothing more than a warm smile and a listening ear.
Here are a few ways to spread some cheer and practical help this fall:
- Apple Picking – There is nothing like picking apples in the fall – and there is something romantic about it! Word to the wise: If you can go on a weekday, do it! We went to a popular orchard on a Saturday last year, and it was crawling with people who had the same idea! So, unless you get a boost from large, chaotic crowds, then avoid weekends. After picking your apples, you can offer some to neighbors, make apple treats and pass them out, or better yet, have people over for apple pie and games!
- Rake Leaves – Those beautiful leaves which bring us so much joy eventually fall off the trees and get into everything. You probably do not live too far from someone who can use your help raking. Our neighbor has a lawnmower attachment that rakes leaves, and he comes over and scoops ours up every month or so! It saves us hours of backbreaking work each fall.
- Help People Prepare for Colder Weather – Depending on where you live, there may be an inner-city or homeless ministry which passes out blankets and other goods to people in need. If you have the skills, you can help elderly people make home improvements that will keep them warmer and their energy bills lower this winter. You can also buy canned goods for families or make heavy soups which can be frozen. If you know of children who could use some warm clothes, check out local consignment shops for gently used merchandise.
- Offer Follow-up Help to Charities – Directly following tragedies and natural disasters, there seems to be a flood of support; but, as the news dies down, so does the help. Contact local charities and see what assistance is still needed. Then, if you have the time, skills, and means to expend, you and your significant other can be a part of their continued support.
- Help Work on Someone’s Home – Autumn is a good time to paint and make home repairs. It is cool outside which makes the work more bearable. Not to mention, it is nice to have your home updated a bit before the holidays – especially if you are hosting! If friends, neighbors, or church families express a need for home repairs, or you notice the need on your own, see what you can do to assist the process. We have friends and family who have offered to help us with a few projects, and I cannot wait to take them up on their offer! ~smile~
- Have a Bonfire – If you can build a fire pit in your backyard, or you have access to one, have some acquaintances over for a bonfire. By the glow of the flames, verbal inhibitions tend to fade and people are more likely to talk without hesitation. It is a great way to enjoy the outdoors during chilly weather while helping new friends become more comfortable with each other.
- Have a Friendsgiving – It was only recently when I heard of the term ‘Friendsgiving,’ but I love it! This is the Thanksgiving celebration with friends that happens before (or after) the traditional Thanksgiving day. Have a potluck get-together where each friend brings a dish and enjoy a good old-fashioned Thanksgiving feast with your buddies! Take this opportunity to practice hosting with your sweetheart. You can also use this time to build new
We never know when it will be our turn to need help. If we step out of our world for just a minute and look through someone else’s eyes, it gives us an idea of what should be a priority and what is just sucking away our time. If we are too busy to give out of our abundance, we are simply too busy.
Jump in some crunchy leaves and take in the beauty of this most wondrous season! Let this autumn weather do its work on you and then pass on the magic!
What are three ways you and your sweetie can team up to be a blessing this fall?