Fall is a favorite season for gathering. Even though gatherings may look a bit different this year, life must go on. 

Our family traveled up to Iowa for a wedding last month. It is one of the most spectacular times of the year in farm country. The John Deere combines harvesting the corn and bean fields were excellent entertainment on the drive up to our family’s farm. My daughter said the harvested corn smell was amazing – not sure if she knew it was feed corn, though.

After our cousin’s wedding was postponed this summer, we were all looking forward to celebrating a special day with the bride, groom and their families. We drove our RV up from Arkansas and enjoyed camping on our family’s century farm for the weekend. There were lots of aunts, uncles and cousins to see and visit with. Going back to the farm where my grandparents raised their children is one of my favorite things to do.

The best thing about rural small-town weddings – they are like a big family reunion. The wedding took place in the same church many of our family members have been married in. It is old and lovely. The wedding party climbed aboard a hay wagon and traveled through town being pulled by a pick-up truck after the ceremony. We met up with the wedding party at a local establishment and the celebration began. We ended up in the same ballroom where many wedding dinners and dances had taken place before. I am a sucker for traditions and nostalgia.

Once we got back home, we began our own version of harvesting and gathering. My husband is busy getting the last of the hay brought in from fields. He is also delivering hay to neighbors as they prepare for winter weather. We have been rotating cattle and horses to different pastures to make sure each of them has enough grass. The days are getting shorter and winter days are looming up ahead.

A person can get really worked up over all the things we will miss due to COVID-19 cancelations this season. Instead, I can count my blessings – baseball games to watch, cross country meets, car races, dancing and more with each of our children. The weather is lovely and it’s always a perfect time for a trail ride. Our children are looking forward to a Halloween bonfire at the farm since trick-or-treating looks unlikely to happen this year. 

I am hoping to take a fall drive on our country roads to watch the changing leaves and enjoying some pumpkin-spiced anything this month. We are so close to not having to mow our yard for a few months, I know our children are looking forward to that too. 

As you gather with your friends and family during this beautiful season of autumn, I hope you have an opportunity to celebrate the harvest, neighbor.

Jody Harris is a freelance communications specialist, gardener, ranch wife and mother of four. She and her family raise Angus beef cattle and other critters on their northwest Arkansas ranch. She is a graduate of Missouri State University. To contact Jody, go to and click on ‘Contact Us.’


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