Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Annual Harvest Celebrations by Merri Maywether


The leaves are red. It’s chilly in the morning, warm in the afternoon, and chilly again at night. People are pulling hoodies, sweaters, and fuzzy socks out of retirement. The farmers are back from the fields, talking about the prices of crops over cups of coffee. These are the signs leading up to the annual Harvest Celebrations.

Two weeks ago, I was in a small town fifteen miles away, buying homemade items and eating a variety of baked goods made with pumpkin. 

Last weekend, it was our turn. Our community had the annual Harvest Dinner. For weeks, the women gather at the Lutheran Church preparing for it. 

We all have notes telling us what we’re bringing to add to the meal. I had two dessert items and a jello salad. 

One weekend is devoted to making Swedish meatballs, another making lefse, and the Saturday before the event, potato peelers are put to work on the potatoes that will be mashed the next day. Those of us who aren’t in the church kitchen are at home roasting turkeys for the event. 

Sunday, people come from far and wide to have a hearty meal, to reconnect with their small-town friends and family, to retell stories that include those that didn’t make it this year, to remember the simple moments that bring abundant joy. 

In two weeks, we’ll do it again at a dance in the community center.

While this time of year appeals to the senses, it is my favorite because it rekindles relationships between friends and reconnects people with the community. 

It’s also what inspired my upcoming release Hope Springs Harvest Days. Two childhood friends reconnect at a Harvest festival. Spoiler alert, there’s a happily ever after. 

I’ll close this month’s share by asking you to comment below: what are your favorite October traditions?

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Book Cover Hope Springs Harvest Days

Ginger has always been the small-town girl with a big heart and a healthy dose of sass to go along with it. When Owen left Hope Springs, he thought he shook off the dust of his small town beginnings. A weekend together brings Ginger and Owen together. The two childhood friends may need a map to navigate the maze of events to find the happily ever after everyone in Hope Springs knows they deserve. That is, if they’ll slow down and read the directions.  🍂

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