Of Pumpkins and Pandemics

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A recipe for “iced pumpkin cookies”. Photo by Novalea Verno

Novalea Verno, Editor

The time for pumpkin spice lattes and UGG boots is quickly approaching. Soon scarecrows and hay bales will be decorating doorsteps alongside bottles of hand sanitizer and spooky-themed masks. The COVID-19 virus has thrown a wrench into many plans and holidays this year. Traditions of bonfires with friends and Halloween parties will take a backseat this season. Despite all the limitations, the fall season is far from being ruined. There is still a lot that can be done to celebrate the end of summer without compromising your health.

Fall is well-known for its beauty, with views of crisp red and orange leaves. Getting outside to enjoy the chillier weather is exactly what the doctor ordered to get out of the “quarantine slumps.” Going on a hike with a few close family members is a perfect way to soak up the sun while still staying safe and avoiding crowds. Trails are beginning to open up as the number of red zones slowly decreases.

If you’re looking for something a little cozier, try a fall-themed movie night. Pick out movies that help set the mood for the season with classics like “Hocus Pocus,” “It’s the great pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and “Halloweentown.” You can choose between renting a few movies or hopping on Netflix Watch Party to connect with friends while remaining in the comforts of your room.

Fall is famous for flavors like pumpkin and cinnamon. The number of fall-themed treats is increasing due to a lot of newfound free time due to the COVID-19 virus. Try out your hand in baking by attempting to make a sweet treat for you and your family to enjoy. Check out the recipe included for a festive cookie you can make and enjoy at home.

If you are in a position where you are able to travel out of the house, head over to a pumpkin patch for some fun. Flinchbaugh’s Orchard and Farm is opening up their pumpkin patch on Sept. 12. Pick up a pumpkin to carve or paint and challenge your friends to a “best pumpkin” contest. If the gooey insides of pumpkins are not your thing, head on over to a local orchard for apple picking instead. If you’re feeling adventurous, turn your trip into a mini photoshoot for the perfect fall Instagram post.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving Day, use your free time to come up with a list of things you’re thankful for. It is easy to get caught up in the chaos that surrounds us, especially in this day and age. Taking a few moments to appreciate the people, objects and opportunities you have is exactly what we all need to do.

Don’t let the pandemic take the wind out of your sails this fall season. Have fun while still being safe and responsible during this time.