Harvest time and traveling

Patrick Fisher, The New Prague Times
Another Dozinky is now in the books. It was a fun and busy time for my editor Chuck Kajer and myself as we hurried to cover many of the activities that go with New Prague’s harvest festival. I very much appreciate Chuck stepping up to get a few photos for me as my camera had technical difficulties for some time. This was the 34th year of Dozinky and next year will be the 35th annual festival. I was in my mid-teens when the festival started.
This year Cruise Night was a bit chillier than past ones. Frankly, I was wondering if we would have some rain, as it was overcast with the occasional shower on Friday, Sept. 21, thankfully it cleared up. About the only time I remember there being rain during Cruise Night was in 2011. It was only a few days after September 11. Organizers of Cruise Night had decided to remember those who had lost their lives in the terrorist attacks by having the cars stop at a certain time and there would be a minute of silence. There was an on and off drizzle, but people still came out and when the time came, many drivers and their passengers got out of their vehicles. Many people stood with bowed heads and dotted across the crowd were a few people holding lit lighters, as if to say our light still shines.
Saturday, Sept. 22, was a great fall day, it started with crisp temperatures, but warmed and had lots of sun. It’s those types of days that remind me how it is harvest time, when farmers are out in their fields collecting their crops, whether it’s wheat, corn or soybeans. It also reminds me of apple picking. I’ve only gone a few times, and more often it was to get pictures for the paper. Fall is also one of the reasons I enjoy living in Minnesota, because of the change of seasons. Seeing the green of summer start to give way to the gold, yellow and red leaves on trees as autumn approaches. How there’s a certain smell to the air with it being chilly in the morning and then warm in the afternoon.
The fall also reminds me of a few family trips. We would go out in our pop-up camper and spend a weekend at some campground. I think we even took a long fall vacation where we went to North Dakota for a few days. Some of those vacations turned out to be a bit soggy due to rain. There were others where we had the area nearly to ourselves and we would get up to this spectacular sight of early morning sunshine glowing off the vast array of colors on the trees and those leaves that had fallen.
Since we were camping that meant cooking the food over a campfire, if we had no plans. I have many memories of us making pancakes or french toast on a griddle over a fire and, to save time, cooking bacon or sausage over a Coleman gas stove. It’s one of the best feelings to have food warm off the fire to help drive away the morning chill.



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