Temperatures belie the season, but it really is fall in the Boro. Take part in fun, autumn activities with the family to celebrate the month of October, even if you don a pair of shorts and flip flops to carve a pumpkin. Look for farmers’ fields to change, watch for reds and yellows and oranges to pop out in hardwoods and pick out a scarecrow to decorate the front yard. Ignore the thermometer and make quality, fall memories with the ones you love. Celebrate with the holidays below or create unique family ones of your own.
➤ Sausage Month — Gather in the kitchen to make a hearty sausage and grits breakfast meal. Brown two pounds of sausage, crumble; set aside to cool. Bring 2 cups of water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil. Whisk in 1/2 cup uncooked quick grits. Continue whisking until mixture returns to a boil, then reduce heat and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the burner and stir in 4 cups of grated, extra-sharp cheddar cheese. Stir until cheese melts; set aside to cool. Stir together 4 beaten eggs, 1 cup of milk and garlic salt and pepper to taste. Stir the egg mixture into the cooled cheese grits. Mix well, then add the cooked, crumbled sausage. Stir well. Pour the mixture into a 9-by-13 baking dish. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, remove the dish from the refrigerator for 15 minutes before baking. Uncover and bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until center is set.
➤ Family History Month — On a sheet of posterboard, draw a chart of family members to include three or four generations. Then play a game by taking turns sharing a memory or activity or adventure of a family member and the first person to shout out the name of the person being described gets a point for the correct answer. Tally up the score at the end of the game to see who remembered the most family history.
➤ Bat Appreciation Month — Create a bat craft for the celebration by starting with a black plastic or paper plate for the body. Glue wiggle eyes in place and add two, construction paper triangles for ears. Use a silver sharpie to draw a mouth in place. Cut a smaller-sized circle from black construction paper; cut the circle in half to make two wings. Fold each semi-circle back and forth, accordion style, for a three-dimensional effect. Glue the wings in place on each side of the bat body. Attach fishing line to the bat, if you choose to hang the bat as a seasonal decoration or glue on a wooden craft stick to turn the creation into a puppet.
➤ World Homeless Day — Give a call to Open Hearts Community Mission and find out what you can do as a family to assist. Make a donation, shop for shelter supplies, contribute to a meal or find another way to help financially or physically.
➤ Reptile Awareness Day — Search online to find a list of reptiles, then take a walk to see if you can spot any reptiles in the wild. A walk at Mill Creek Pond or a similar location might give sightings of turtles or lizards or skinks along the edge. Hopefully, they’ll be no close-up encounters of snakes or alligators on your trek!
Use your imagination and pretend the temperatures are slightly cooler than they really are and make the most of October, until the fall-like days truly arrive. Enjoy the beauty of the season and make every day a holiday with those you love.
Statesboro native Julie Bland Lavender is married to David Lavender and enjoys celebrating with children Jeremy, Jenifer, Jeb Daniel and Jessica.