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I've always loved autumn. The rich smell of new wood in the fireplace, hot apple cider, fresh baked breads, the fragrance of fallen leaves, and the family get togethers. It's a cozy time of year, when the temperatures dips low, and we dust off our sweaters, turtlenecks, feather bedspreads and we begin to prepare ourselves for the cold winter ahead.

As a child growing up in Colorado, this meant playing outside under our huge maple tree in piles of orange and gold. The taste of a few small early snowflakes on my tongue, and the irresistible taste of mom's fresh baked pumpkin and apple pies. It also meant that Grandma and Grandad were probably coming to town, along with a car load of aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. Yes, this is the season that we all sit down, feast, enjoy each others company and take stock on the year that was, while we plan for the one to come.

Take for Granted

It's easy sometimes to take all of this for granted—that this is how it will always be, but as time goes by, you grow older and so does everyone else. Dear grandparents pass away, aunts and uncles move to far off places, and the trials and tribulations of life try to get in the way of cherished seasonal gatherings. It's easy to almost write these times off, filling the void with other activities.

Last year while spending time with my six-year-old nephew and one-year-old niece, I realized that it's important to keep these traditions alive and well, if nothing else for them. They deserve to have that feeling of coziness, fresh smell of apple pies, and the fun and games that come along with family and friends around. Best of all, I get to live through it all again with them, and that's the prize that we get to share when we take the time to remember what's important in life and run with it.

God has given us the peace and enjoyment of family and togetherness, a time to cherish the old times, as new times begin.

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By Benjamin DuBose. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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