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Fall Leaves and Smiles


aaron-and-zoe-in-leavesFall days mean beautiful brisk cool weather along with leaves changing color. So many beautiful colors, and then they fall. Once down, my father-in-law, Marshal Fleming, races to get them all bagged up and gone. Last week, my grandson Aaron helped his grandfather and great grandfather rake some up in his backyard. Of course then came the fun! Jumping in them, over and over again. As fast as he could before more would be scooped up with the lawnmower, Aaron would leap into the pile with the biggest grin ever.

Later, Zoe (our new little granddaughter) got  into the action with her brother. As you can see from her expression, she was not quite sure about the whole experience. Maybe next year we will see the look of wonder and joy on her face that we see on her brother’s.

Thursdays are very special in our household–we get to watch over both of our grandchildren for the day. That means on these nice days, lots of Aaron’s time is spent outside exploring, picking up acorns, leaves, and anything else that suits his fancy. He gets in his red tractor with the cart and off he goes.

One of the best things is to just sit down on the ground beside our grandson, watch the leaves fall, and just be. Just be happy to be able to be part of his day. I only wish that when my children were little I had taken the time to do these things with them. Or maybe I did and I just do not remember anymore.  Maybe that is what grandparents are for… I know my mom and my in-laws always took the time to play with my children. My mother, Sonja Behnke Festerling,  would have tea parties with the fine china and just laugh if something broke; they would take long hikes and sing as loud as they could. My husband’s parents lived next door and I know the children were up there play-acting with puppets and making all sorts of wonderful memories. Looking back, some of my best memories were with my grandmother, Rose Behnke, exploring the great outdoors or making cookies for the holidays or just because. For me, nothing will ever be better then being a mom but this grandmother thing is sure a close second. Enjoy your fall days.

by Stephanie Fleming, Behnke’s Vice President

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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