Enjoy each September day to its fullest

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The breeze is balmy and beckoning as we make our way through September, urging us to get out and enjoy summer’s ending and the gifts it brings our way.

No matter if you are rich or poor, busy beyond your planning book’s boundaries or languishing in the wonders of retirement, I think we all can certainly agree this is one beautiful time of year in the good old Farm Belt.

Change of seasons

We are only given so many Septembers, and I intend to enjoy each one I have been granted. I love that amazing change in the air, the hint of crispness that beckons us to pull out that favorite sweatshirt tucked away back in the spring.

A bonfire with family and friends is a gift this time of year as we know that time is of the essence in more ways than one. Life is short. Enjoy one another.

The sun sits differently in the sky and even on warm days seems as though it is reminding us that summer is over.

When my county fair rolls in during this week, one of the last of the season, it is wise to dress in layers for a day that will likely start out chilly, perhaps get blazing hot for an hour or two, then cool down by sundown.

Grateful

What I have learned as life goes on is that I am grateful to live in this neck of the woods, as opposed to so many other places in the world. It becomes even more clear when September rolls in each year.

I am blessed to live among people who are friendly and welcoming, people who take the time to care about one another, and don’t mind saying so.

I talked with a man not long ago who told me he had the most frightening experience of his life on his way home from work. He lives in a growing city in the western part of the state, and was stopped in heavy traffic at a stop light.

He had his windows down and just sort of glanced over at the car next to him, loud music beating from it. He nodded at the young man in the passenger’s seat, with a smile.

He looked back at the light, then something in his instinct told him to glance back at the car next to him. In the passenger’s seat, just a couple of arm-lengths from him, a man held a hand gun out of his open car window, pointing it directly at this man’s head.

Luckily, even though the light remained red, this man was able to accelerate through an empty intersection to get away.

Never make eye contact, he was later told. The gangs see that as confrontational, and will have no qualms about shooting a total stranger in the head.

In my part of the world, making eye contact with total strangers just feels like the polite thing to do. People nod and say hello because we were all taught to be warm and welcoming.

After a very busy summer, I love this time of year when neighbors look after one another, checking in to see if there is anything needing to be done before autumn becomes incredibly demanding with the harvest.

Gift like no other

I love September, too, because it brings my adorable neighbor girls through this land as they walk to the Amish school each day.

This year, in a reminder that time is marching on, Susan joins her older sisters Anna and Lizzie. Susan is beaming with happiness to finally be old enough to make that trek to school each day.

There is nothing sweeter than to get to talk to these girls at the end of their school day, and I consider it a gift like no other.

Their innocence and joy as they walk, barefoot and beaming, such a long distance with happiness and wonder reminds me that this world is filled with amazing gifts for all of us.

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Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, in college.

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