Temperatures are still high, but the nights and mornings are finally presenting us a little taste of the fall season approaching. Fall is by far my favorite time of the year.

The official end of summer and the gateway to autumn, known as the Fall Equinox is Monday, Sept. 23. We’ll hopefully begin to feel a temperature change as cooler weather approaches. With that comes fall colors, leaves floating in the breeze, fall festivals, pumpkins and gourds, warm cider, hot chocolate, favorite sweaters, hunting camps, camp fires, s’mores, pumpkin flavored everything and before we know it, Thanksgiving and Christmas! All of this means special times with family and friends. It’s a time when cooler weather welcomes outdoor cookouts, festivals, hayrides and anything outdoors. Take time to spend quality time with those you love, and maybe share some love with a complete stranger. We also need to remember those in need, especially during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons.

As this time of year rolls around, we tend to see more thefts relating to hunting camps, hunting equipment and off road utility vehicles. Take a little time to think about ways you can protect your property from theft. If you are a member of a hunting club, share information and regularly communicate with other members. Make sure you know “what should be where” and “who should be where” on your property. Sharing information among friends and family can be the key to knowing “what is normal” from “what is suspicious.” Report any suspicious activity to the proper law enforcement authority. As one of your local law enforcement authorities, we need all of the help from the public that we can get. The citizens of our community are the front line eyes and ears for law enforcement. We are few, but YOU are many. With tips and information we receive from the public, many crimes are solved and stolen property is returned to the lawful owner.

As this autumn season approaches, take time to live, and slow down to see the beauty that comes with the changing of the seasons. With many things in life, we get the opportunity to “re-do” the things we missed the first time. However, with life, we get one day at a time, and when it’s gone, it’s gone! Don’t be too busy to savor every special moment you have before you. Spend time with friends and family. Tell your loved ones you love them, and tell them often. Take an opportunity to express an act of kindness to a complete stranger or someone you know in need. Not for the recognition, but just because it’s the right thing to do. Above all, take time to praise the Lord for all the many physical blessings, material blessings and most importantly the spiritual blessings He has bestowed upon us.

I pray that everyone has a safe and happy fall season. I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving as November soon comes around. Take the time to reflect on and enjoy the blessings the Lord has provided us. Faith, family and friends are all too valuable to overlook.

Until next time, keep your eyes on the Lord, and may He truly bless you during this beautiful autumn season!

Kevin Lake serves as the Panola County Sheriff.