It is that time of year again,
that brief moment we call fall.
So many weather changes,
cannot keep track of them all.

The rains are at last on a pause,
the farmers are all in a tizzy.
Corn silage left to chop, corn to combine,
every neighbor is busy.

The corn is drying down,
much faster than we want it to.
And getting corn out of the fields,
lots of mud to power through.

Mornings start with layers of clothes,
afternoons make way for sweatshirts and sun.
Then there are those windy days,
so blustery and wild, not fun.

Chimneys cough out billows of smoke,
at nearly every house along the road.
The hours of cutting, splitting and stacking,
warming each humble abode.

My boys are on deer lookout,
nonstop driving entertainment.
Quick and now more camouflaged,
just a flash before they reach pavement.

From the window I can see the frost,
shimmering and sparkling in the morning light.
Reminding us that Mother Nature is the boss,
and we do not have the power to fight.

It seems the leaves rushed their colors this year,
deep burgundy, orange, yellow and green.
Have hastily made way for all shades of brown,
light brown, dark brown and not much in between.

The gardens are ready for their winter slumber,
the produce and flowers are tired.
Pulling up, digging out, cutting down,
winter preparation is required;
unearthing tubs of winter clothes.
Long johns, mittens, stocking caps close to 50,
I swear these children lose more mittens than not.
Same pair all winter? That would be nifty.

The kitchen stays hectic,
baking warms the heart and house.
Guests are most welcome to stop for a nibble,
though not the cold, rogue mouse.

There is much to be done before winter sets in,
manure pits to empty and corn to finish shelling.
Drier ground and no sticking snow would help;
how soon we can get done? Really no telling.

Pause and take hold of all autumn has to offer,
pumpkins freshly carved, apples baked right.
Leaves wet with frost and corn being ground.
The crispness of the fall sky; the stars burn so bright.
    Jacqui and her family milk 800 cows and run 1,200 acres of crops in the northeastern corner of Vernon County, Wis. Her children, Ira (11), Dane (9), Henry (4) and Cora (adventurous crawler), help her on the farm while her husband, Keith, works on a grain farm. If she’s not in the barn, she’s probably in the kitchen, trailing after little ones, or sharing her passion of reading with someone. Her life is best described as organized chaos – and if it wasn’t, she’d be bored.