We had a marvelous day at Wagner’s Orchard and Estate Winery.
The truth is, this expedition did not happen as expeditiously as I had planned. We had originally slated the outing for last weekend, but due to some saucey behavior on the part of my young ‘uns it was rescheduled and ended up taking place today.
On the way there my mom’s lovely Buick indicated that one of the doors was ajar (A door is not a JAR a door is a door. Don’t get me started. Anyhow) so we pulled over to the side of the road to figure out which one it was. Upon opening and closing all of the doors, we managed to satisfy the indicator light and it subsided into darkness. Before we pulled away however, another car pulled up behind us and a woman got out. She clearly was looking for some help as she was glancing anxiously at her phone and waving me over. I opened my car door (again) and went to see how I could help. Turns out they were looking for the same road we were going to be turning on. Street name reassignment, which happens on occasion, was resulting in their GPS not being able to locate the road. I told her we were headed in the same direction and to follow us. Being the awesome ninja mom that I am, upon returning to the car I proceeded to point out the serendipity to my children. Sometimes, I told them, things happen that we might think are bad or annoying and they turn out to put us in a position to do something nice for someone else who needs it. They followed us the rest of the way to the orchard and carried on as their destination was quite a piece of road further than ours.
Before heading to the hayride I needed to find the *ahem* facilities. I was told, much to my displeasure, that the port-a-potty that I had already spied was the place I needed to go. Let me be clear here, poopy public port-a-potties are not an alliteration that I am elated about. Regardless, I steeled myself to the stink and took care of business. One packed hayride later we found ourselves in the back orchard ready to de-apple some trees.
The munchkins gleefully climbed in and out of apple trees and picked as many apples as their little hands could carry. Having come to this same orchard for three years in a row now I found myself looking at my children this year and marveling in just how much they have grown. The first time I took them here they could reach none but the lowest hanging fruit. Now, they are climbing trees and getting the ones that even I cannot reach. It boggles the mind, and I look forward to future years with gratitude in my heart for the ability to be witness to the marvel of their growth.
A full bag of apples in hand, we remounted the packed hayride and returned to the front of the property. My girl child was frustrated that the fullness of the hayride prevented her from seeing the farm animals that she holds so dear. I have often referred to her as my little animal whisperer as she has always displayed an affinity for the four legged beasties that also inhabit our little blue dot. So, after being dropped at the front of the orchard I slogged down the boggy road with her towards the fence where I knew the horses and pigs could be found.
We proffered pocket apples to the horses and exchanged coos and grunts with the sow before heading back up the road to the small park structure and homestead store where the goodies were vended. Being the talker that I am I made a friend there, of course. Turns out one of the lovely ladies who works and lives at the farm also makes her living as a French teacher. After exchanging French pleasantries with her, I purchased my much anticipated bottle of cherry wine, tub of unpasteurized honey and homemade apple streudal.
My mother and I munched.. well.. ok, I munched, she watched with sad puppy eyes as she cannot participate in the sugary wonder due to her diabetes. We chatted and laughed while the children played at the park and then we loaded them back in the car and headed for home.
Dinner consisted of sautéed apples and onions over chicken and apple cinnamon stuffed crescent rolls for dessert. It was delicious and warm, and enjoyed with the best of company.
Fall is not my favourite season, but it does hold some of my most precious motherhood memories. As my children, my mother and myself grow, I have yearly pilgrimages to the apple orchard to mark time and take snapshots of all of my beloved people as they age. Because this too shall pass. I think that sometimes we forget to apply this mindset to the good times as well. It all goes by so very quickly, and if your eyes are not open, you will miss the most ordinary miraculous moments. Moments that will sustain you when the trying times come. Moments that will feed your soul as you move through the maze of marvels that is life on this planet.
Seasons change and time marches inexorably forwards. Days like today remind me to savor every joy, marvel in every moment of beauty. Like the beauty in the symphony of fall colours, these moments will shrivel and pass before we know it. Stop, mark the moment, marvel in the beauty and rawness of it, and know that there are inevitably more to follow that you have not even conceived of yet.
Happy Apple Picking Day Friends J
May you be present to all of your own ordinary miracles as they thunder past. This is the meaning of life. Life itself is the point.