Before I had my own family, I worked for a man; his wife was this dynamo of a woman. She was 100% focused on creating memories for her kids/family that they would cherish forever. She read books, planned events, and implemented new family traditions. She intimidated the heck out of me. I remember thinking that if I ever had my own family, this was a bar I was never going to be able to hit. One time she told me that she had read if you are trying to make a memory, involve as many of the sense as you can. (That was why on their annual hunt for a Christmas tree, she made sure they had apple cider donuts first, she was a planner!). I do think that is good advice, and I think I do it to some degree… granted I also just like sweets and food. My family’s memories are more hit and miss, less planned more organic. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t.
Steele Farms was an organic one that worked. In 2011, I was looking for some sort of family activity to do that fall. Something fun, maybe pick your own pumpkin from a patch. I found a corn maze. Even having grown up in the Midwest where this is a common fall adventure, I had never been. So the three of us set off to Steele Farms having no idea what to expect.
Each year the farm makes a new maze and there are stops in the maze to get a stamp or punch to enter to win something (we have never won, it really wasn’t about that). They have hay mounds to climb and cut out wooden figures to pose behind or next to (we are big fans of that) It was honestly just happenstance we took Alex’s picture by the big pumpkin cut out with height measurements.
We picked out our pumpkins (carefully cutting the stems with giant cutters that I let the 11-year-old handle himself). We may have carved one of them that year, but we also saved one for the wooden turkey face and feathers to extend its life into November. I would smile remember our fun day of unexpected surprises every time I pulled in the driveway that fall. Needless to say, it was not difficult to convince them to go back.
And go back we did five, six maybe even seven more times. Each time posing with the large cut out pumpkin or the school bus with the boys “fighting” in the back or trying something new. The more I think about it, I wonder if Alex would meet us there this fall for one last Pumpkin Picture.