The change of seasons leaves me spellbound. Stepping outside, I love drinking in the aroma of autumn as I gaze over the grove of young chestnuts and colorful trees beyond. The sky is a brilliant blue, and the weather is crisp enough for sweaters and jackets. The little boys have even been digging through our box of gloves and wearing them (It’ll be a couple of months until I’m ready for that myself).
One dimension of fall I enjoy is pretty leaves; I’ve never outgrown it. When I was a girl, my mom would help us along as we gathered and pressed orange, red and yellow leaves. Today I still can’t help but stoop to pick up an attractive maple leaf. Today I told the boys I can’t remember ever finding as many pretty leaves as this year. The children are all helping me collect a variety which are being pressed to hang up in the living room around our plaque with family rules.
The woods behind our house serve well in supplying us with leaves to rake together into piles to romp in. Chuckling, I recall how my brothers and I once took gallon ice cream buckets and put them on our heads as helmets, the handle served as the strap to keep them from falling off. On our hands and knees, we crawled around the giant pile of leaves, bumping into each other, having the time of our life.
Then there’s camping. Who doesn’t enjoy camping when the weather is just chilly enough to huddle around the fire, putting large pieces of wood on in hopes of it lasting til morning.
A week ago we had a very unique camping experience with all the church ladies and girls. From the oldest grandma down to the littlest girl, we all made lots of cozy memories. As always, my highlight was sitting around the crackling fire, singing and talking. For our discussion at night, we all shared something we have learned in life, even the little girls said what they learned.
When Hosanna’s turn came, she sweetly said, “I have learned to know Dad and Mom.” Her innocence touched my heart, being adopted does add a unique dimension to life. Numerous people related how they have learned to trust in God, no matter what. It was striking to me to think of all 40 of us sitting in a big circle, all have our own journey, and God meets each of us exactly where we are, increasing each of our trust in him!
We won’t focus to much on the minimal amount of sleep from chatting around the fire and tending to little ones throughout the night, it’s like my mom used to say, “You always catch up with sleep sometime!”
This fall the children have also been impressed with persimmons. In school they often see our non-Amish neighbor picking up persimmons along the road. They did not expect that they’ll get the chance to eat cookies he made out of them. Last night when I was getting the children ready for bed, one of them informed me that a vehicle drove in. Jesse scampered over to the window and peered out in the darkness, out here in the country we don’t have any street lights or even a pole light at our house.
I explained to Jesse that those outside can see in much easier than we can see out. I told him how my brothers would tell me that it makes you look like a monkey when you look out the windows after dark with your hands cupped next to your face so you could see who’s out there.
The motion light on the front porch revealed who our guest was, it was our neighbor who gathers persimmons. Now here he was with a plate of persimmon pudding and persimmon cookies. My heart was warmed.
When I was a little girl, us children would pick up persimmons and enjoy them right there on the spot, but I never got so much into baking with them. These cookies really were a hit and didn’t have as strong flavor as some persimmon dishes.
If you have access to persimmons, you may wanna try it, and if not, I wish you’d be here to get some fresh persimmon pulp from the country store, only a skip and a hop down the gravel road from here!
2 cups sugar
2 sticks of butter
1 cup persimmon pulp
3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon Allspice
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Cream together sugar, butter, eggs and persimmon pulp. In a separate bowl, mix flour and spices. After the flour is mixed well with the spices, add to the persimmon mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoon onto cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 16 minutes.
Gloria Yoder is an Amish mom, writer, and homemaker in rural Illinois. The Yoders travel primarily by horse-drawn buggy and live next to the settlement’s one-room school-house. Readers can write to Gloria at 10510 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427