I admit to being a sucker for tradition. Around Christmas, I get a little bit ridiculous about the way things have always been done - heaven help you if you change the menu for brunch on Christmas Day. But my need to do the same thing seems to start around fall. Or, more precisely, right around the time that pumpkin spiced everything is released. That's when I decide to go full-on fall...starting with a trip to the pumpkin patch.

Of course, my love for the pumpkin patch started back in kindergarten. My class would bundle up, wear our most mud-proof outfits and head out to Snohomish or Carnation for pumpkins.  We'd select the perfect one, have some apple cider, and head back to school slightly chilled, a little dirty and feeling festive. More recently, my friends and I rate pumpkin patches based on their amenities (corn maze, anyone?) and then trek out away from the city. While we may have gotten a little taller, there's still something about the fall pumpkin patch, apple cider days that make us feel like little kids again.

Going out to the pumpkin patch, and thinking about annual activities, makes me think of other traditions we keep around here. I feel really quite lucky to work with my family's business. If you can believe it, the agency was started almost 60 years ago (and we will be celebrating for most of 2014) and we've worked hard to keep that warm, fuzzy "tradition of quality service" that whole time. So when I go to places, like the pumpkin farms, that I've been going to since I was a kid, it's nice to see that we aren't the only ones working to keep making memories.

On that note...what should I do with all of this pumpkin I've acquired?