Fall is here. The leaves are changing, harvest is in full swing and jack-o-lanterns have taken residence on my front porch. I love fall. And no, it’s not because pumpkin spice lattes are a staple on the Starbucks menu or because scarves, sweaters and boots are the season’s trend. It’s because autumn gives me balance, both in life and work.
My 45-minute trek to work is beautiful this time of year. I make a point to take a different route each time just so I can appreciate the absolutely breathtaking foliage. Note that I said appreciate. Funny thing is, autumn leaves are aplenty in my own yard. We have 32 trees in our yard, many of which are big maples and oaks that drop hundreds of leaves every time the wind picks up. Living on a wooded lot this time of year is more a curse than a blessing. So I’m glad that my lengthy commute provides me balance by awarding me time to see the beauty in the season as opposed to wishing it away.
Autumn is also the only stretch of time where I can find the opportunity to be deliberate in my job. The spring and summer months can be downright hectic here at the Extension Office. Member enrollments and club activities escalate, and camp and fair preparations are in full swing. My office staff and I find little time to develop meaningful relationships with clientele and brainstorm program ideas with all the crazy going on in the background. However, in the fall, we encounter balance. Things slow down just a titch. We declutter the office, afford extra time to front-line customer service and settle into a plan of action for the busy months that lurk around the bend. We finally finish that story we started telling six months ago. We eat way too much Halloween candy and we laugh about the idiosyncrasies in our day as opposed to being annoyed by them. ‘Tis the season to reset our outlook and head into the New Year just that – anew.
Finally, autumn is a time when we get the chance to celebrate those who are so generous to us year-around. We get to balance all the take with the give. From outstanding 4-H’er awards to adult volunteer training, fall is all about being thankful here at OSU Extension! The first of our many moments of gratitude took place Oct. 16 at the Shelby County Master Gardeners annual recognition banquet at Arrowhead Golf Club. Dave Slagle was honored as the Master Gardener Volunteer of the Year and Amos Memorial Public Library was recognized at The Friends of the Master Gardener Volunteer Program. While the Master Gardeners have wrapped up routine services for 2019, at-home soil testing kits are available for purchase year around. Your soil pH will thank you!
The writer can be reached at the OSU Extension office (937-498-7239) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.