Recently, I have had family from Florida come visit my husband and me here in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

In August, we made my twin brother and his girlfriend go to our favorite overlook for a quick but scenic Sunday morning hike.

As we approached the overlook we realized the entire ridge-line was covered in thick clouds. Within moments of reaching the top however, the clouds cleared and we had an amazing view of the valley below.

Last week, we took my Dad on the exact same hike. Red and yellow leaves dropped on the trail before us as a light breeze kept many leaves in flight.

We recalled a trip my family took when I was a child to Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah Mountains with my Dad’s parents. Picnic, small kids, bright and beautiful fall day, a bear cub, family… and even now, 20 some years later, we recall the majesty of it all.

This weekend will be peak foliage for most of the Blue Ridge near my home in Roanoke. Although the higher elevations may have lost their luster, many valleys will be bright and bold with color.

And my question on a  Friday morning, to all of us, is what are you going to do this weekend? Are you going to stay in and watch football on TV? Maybe clean the house (my usual Saturday activity) or are you going to create new memories worth talking about in 20 years?

Fall is such a special reminder that life does not always stay the same. Sometimes it is dark and cold, and other days are bright and brilliant. This weekend will be the later and I don’t want any to miss the opportunity to enjoy it, explore it, or be filled by it.

So here is my short but simple Fall weekend bucket list. Please listen to someone who knows. Cleaning can wait. You can tape that football game. You can visit the mall later. But if you waste this special season on the ordinary, you will regret it. So I hope to see you outside, before it is too late and winter removes the color for another year.

  1. Outdoor Yoga class
  2. Run a 4 mile race in the dark
  3. Visit people you love outside and create new memories
  4. Go on a Ghost Tour
  5. Spend the day at a pumpkin festival
  6. Build a bonfire in your back yard and have friends over
  7. Go for a bike ride down by the river
  8. Pack a picnic and enjoy the Blue Ridge Parkway  
  9. Dust off your Mountain bike and find a local trail
  10. Pick apples and make apple butter for the first time
  11. Collect leaves with a small child and name them – Maple, Oak, etc.

Turn off your computer, turn your phone on vibrate, and enjoy this special season. Perhaps this weekend will be one worth talking about in 20 years.