I love the fall! It is by far my favorite time of year.
Some of my fondest memories as a child are from when my brothers and I would rake leaves under the leaning tree in the backyard. We'd rake them into clubhouses, mimicking home blueprints, leaving entrances to and from the club and making doorways. We'd then choose who got to president, vice-president and treasurer. Treasurer was the best job! Somehow we always had candy available at that time of year and whoever was treasurer got to hide the candy in their office and be the one to dole out treats. My favorites were the monster chews; fruity flavored taffy with monsters on the wrappers. We'd play like this for hours, and as soon as the clubhouse "walls" were no longer discernible it was time for a new floor plan.
Although we always had plenty of leaves in our yard from the several poplar trees I remember one year wanting more leaves. Luke and I hauled a wheelbarrow over to our neighbor Mary Alice's yard. She had so many trees! We piled her leaves into our wheelbarrow, nabbed an apple or two off one of her fruit trees and wheeled the leaves over to our yard. I'm not sure why we though we needed so many leaves, and neither was my mom. She didn't seem too pleased at all the extra leaves. (I get it now, Mom.)
We'd also take turns burying each other in the leaves. Sometimes we'd even get a blanket, put it over ourselves and then pile the leaves on top. No one ever stayed under the pile too long, but we each took a turn.
It was always fun to make a giant pile of leaves to run and jump into. We'd kick the leaves and throw them high in the air and then rake them into a pile again. Inevitably someone would jump into the leaves and then quote Linus, "Never jump into a pile of leaves with a wet sucker." We probably all took our turn doing that as well.
I can also remember the smell of burning leaves in the air. I don't remember if we burned ours, I don't think we did, but living in a rural community that, too, was inevitable.
I still love the smell of the air in the fall, the morning frost, the threat of snow just around the corner. The reminder to slow down, enjoy the season while it lasts, and gather in all that needs protection.