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Harvest Time! Growing up in a rural, agricultural community meant that September was always an exciting time in my childhood: the beginning of the harvest season. The neighborhood farmer would be hard at work on the combine in the field behind my house, my brother would earn extra money by baling hay, and the glorious fall harvest festivals would be right around the corner. So it’s no surprise that when I had my own family, the beginning of fall was a time that I enjoyed sharing with my children. Our home state is rich in agriculture, and there are abundant opportunities to get out and celebrate the season. Corn festivals, pumpkin festivals, apple festivals, blueberry festivals … any harvest festival within a 60-mile radius was fair game. Every year, we marked the calendar and hit as many festivals as we could, sampling every type of baked, fried, or frozen treat that was offered. Nothing could compare to a scoop of vanilla ice cream melting on top of a fresh, warm slice of apple pie on a sunny September afternoon! From the time they were small, my kids routinely did their own “harvesting” by going to pick-your-own events at the local apple orchard or blueberry patch. Even though we could never quite finish everything they had
Sept. 2007: Nathaniel and Jonathan enjoying one of our many apple picking outings at Apple Hill Orchards in Mansfield, OH
picked, my boys loved taking home their baskets, heaping with the juicy, ripe fruit that they’d chosen themselves. When my boys were old enough, we planted our own fruit trees, so we could have our own homegrown crop to harvest in the fall. At the time, it seemed like the draw of the harvest season was the deliciously fresh food, the still-warm fall breezes, and the last hoorah of outdoor activities. But in retrospect, I now realize that there’s an additional significance to the harvest: it’s a time of reward. Harvesting is about “reaping what we sow.” It’s about seeing the results of our hard work, care, and attentiveness. We have many of those types of harvest times in our lives. Maybe you have had to work hard to recover from an injury or illness, and the reward is being able to get back to a sport or hobby that you once loved. Or perhaps your child or grandchild studied hard year after year and has now finished high school or college, and the reward is enjoying
the graduation. Those of you who are still working know what it feels like to take a well-deserved vacation after a particularly demanding few months of work. These are all times of harvest: times to reflect on our efforts and to savor the outcome. Recognizing the harvest times in our lives helps us to see the value of our efforts and to persevere even when things seem too difficult. The farmers trust that their labors will result in a good yield. When we are going through our own labors, keeping our thoughts focused on the harvest ahead can help get us through. So this fall, when you stop by the apple orchard to fill your basket, pause for a moment to think about the recent harvests in your own life. And if you are struggling right now, remember that your time for reward is right around the corner.
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INSPIRATION CORNER TIA THOMAS This month’s inspiration corner is dedicated to Tia Thomas, a real life Wonder Woman. Tia is a single mom and a teacher, working with deaf and hearing-impaired children. After a year teaching a hybrid schedule in 2020 with only two days in the classroom, Tia is looking forward to getting back in the classroom Apple Hill is also famous for its bakery and cider press, which is offered year-round. The fresh daily, house-made apple donuts are scrumptious, and the fresh-pressed apple cider is delicious cold or hot! They recently added a drive-thru. School tours are offered in the fall that include a wagon ride, an apple from the orchard, a cider-room tour, and an explanation of apple production. Group tours are available for grown-ups, too. Apple Season Begins! Throughout many of the northern states, including Ohio, September is the start of apple season! Orchards begin to harvest their early season crop, and many varieties of apples are starting to ripen and will continue to do so throughout the fall. We are lucky to have a local orchard in Mansfield. Apple Hill Orchards is located on the second-highest elevation in Ohio. It began selling fruit out of the barn sometime in the 1930s and has continued doing so to the present day. Apple Hill has 30 varieties of apples plus peaches, pears, cherries, and plums. During the fall months, Apple Hill offers weekend hayrides; pick-your- own apples; resident goats, sheep, chickens, and ducks; a climbing tractor; tots’ train; and an observation beehive. The most popular fall event, Kids’ Day Weekend, is Oct. 2–3, 2021.
Plan a Trip to the Orchard!
Apple Stamping After a trip to Apple Hill, why not do a fun craft with the kids using a few of the apples they just picked? Apple stamping is a wonderful sensory activity for kids. For starters, there’s the crisp, fresh scent of the apples. There’s also the satisfying feeling of pressing a paint-dipped apple against a piece of paper, observing the shape of the imprint it makes, and, of course, there will be apple tasting before and after the activity (just not the ones dipped in paint!).
full time this fall. Tia also volunteers at her church, where she participates in the mime and puppet ministry. Tia’s favorite quote (and one of the reasons she is such a great teacher) is: “If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.” –Ignacio Estrada
Tia Thomas and her adorable son, Jaeson
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WHEN YOUR CHILD DOESN’T MAKE THE TEAM Being involved in sports can be great for children, but as they get older, the competition heats up. Whether your child is moving into high school and interested in playing junior varsity or wanting to play their favorite sport in a travel league, tryouts become a large part of the process. The unfortunate and simple truth about tryouts is that not everyone makes the team, which can be devastating if it happens to your child. Luckily, you can do a few things to help your child stay motivated and confident. Validate their feelings. In most cases, your child is going to be upset that they didn’t make the team. This can be even worse if they were already on the team or have friends who play for the organization. It is okay for your child to be upset, and they need to hear that from you. It can be beneficial to tell them you understand how they feel. Talk to them about the tryout. Talking with your child after the tryout is a good way for them to decompress and release any frustrations they had with the experience. Ask questions but do not dominate the conversation. It helps to ask about positive and negative aspects of the tryout so your child still remembers they had fun while playing and tried their best. Make a game plan. Getting cut from a team is not a huge ordeal. There are plenty of other teams out there your child can try out for, and lingering on the disappointment can wreak havoc on their mental health. If they’re ready to try again, find another team to try out for. If not, find somewhere your child can practice and get better, or maybe try a new sport altogether. You can also reach out to former coaches who may have an idea of what to do next. Not making a team is something almost every athlete has faced at some point, but that does not make things easier. If you take the right steps, your child can come out of this experience stronger than ever before. Handling Sports Rejection
Apple crisp and vanilla ice cream make the perfect autumn dessert, especially with freshly picked apples from Apple Hill. To dress it up, you can make individual crisps by dividing the filling and topping among six ramekins or individual gratin dishes. Our favorite apples for baking are Cortland, Golden Delicious, and Honeycrisp, but any sweet-tart apple is good for baking!
For the filling: • 2–1/2 lb apples (about 6 medium), peeled, quartered, cored, and sliced • 2–3 tbsp granulated sugar, depending on sweetness of apples and taste preference
• 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour For the crisp topping: • 1 cup all-purpose flour • 5 tbsp brown sugar • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
• 1/2 cup finely chopped favorite nuts (we like pecans!) • 4 oz (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
To make the filling: 1. In a 9-inch pie pan that’s 2 inches deep (or a similar baking pan), toss the apples with the sugar to taste, cinnamon, and flour.
To make the topping: 1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together all the topping ingredients with your fingers or a pastry cutter until small pebbly pieces of butter are distributed throughout the mixture. Sprinkle the entire mixture over the apples. 3. Bake until the topping is golden and the fruit is bubbling and tender, about 1 hour and 15 minutes for a large crisp and 1 hour for individual crisps. Cool slightly before serving.
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INSIDE THIS EDITION
Are You Ready for Apple Season?
Craft Corner — Apple Stamping!
Handling Sports Rejection
Celebrate Fall Prevention Month With These 3 Tips
DON’T FALL THIS FALL! 3 TIPS FOR FALL PREVENTION
Improve Your Home Your home just might be your biggest threat when it comes to falls, so improve it with a few changes! Install grab bars and railings on steps and in the bathtub for extra support. Grips on the
September marks the start of fall , but it also serves as an important reminder about falling .
Falling is one of the greatest dangers seniors face. As adults age, take more medication, and lose some mobility, it becomes increasingly difficult to stay upright or regain balance — even when tripping over the smallest object. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 out of 5 falls cause serious injuries, including traumatic brain injuries. Falling can also increase a senior’s chance of falling again. But for as common as it may be, falling doesn’t have to be your norm. You can lower your risk of falling and injury with a few simple steps. Move More Your body was designed to move! When you don’t move your body enough, which can happen when you age, your muscles and joints can become weak and stiff. The best way to strengthen your reactions and improve your balance is to move your body. A physical therapist can help you develop a routine that targets your balance while strengthening your muscles and joints.
bottom of the bathtub and on slippery surfaces can give you a secure footing, while lighting along the hallway and in stairwells can better illuminate walkways. Even something as simple as moving a table or decor item out of the hallway can be beneficial! Review Your Medicines Sometimes medication can influence balance and movement. Talk with your doctor about the side effects of your medication and adjust accordingly. You may need to consider alternatives, but if that’s not possible, physical therapy can provide assistance. It’s designed to help you improve your balance and get stronger — which can lower your risk of falling.
You can learn more about fall prevention and risks online at CDC.gov.
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