This weekend I’m staying in Zirconia, NC, one of many towns nestled in the great Appalachian Mountains. On our drive into Flat Rock for lunch, we passed an apple orchard on one of the hairpin turns down the mountain. I stuck it in my mental Rolodex, and when I was not in danger of getting car sick, I typed the orchard’s name into my search engine and read to my group all of the reasons why we should stop there on the way home.
My gift of persuasion worked and we were soon chasing my daughter and my friend’s son around the many unique playhouses alongside the orchard. My daughter and I savored the warm, melt-in your-mouth, apple cider doughnuts. The scent of home-baked apple pies drifted into my senses, which drew us into the main building. It was then that I was transported back to childhood.
The tables of apple varieties, the bushel baskets, scales, and presses. People pulling their wagons and sipping their hot cider. With a blink of my eyes, I was back at Nestrovich’s Orchard in Granville, MA, following my mom around, ready to pick some apples.
Beyond there, we found billy goats to pet and apples to launch from a cannon. We returned to imbibe hot cider and apple slushies, and were delighted in finding apple butter to bring back home.
If you’ve been reading my posts, you know I love to do things. All the things. Usually one time is enough. But this… walking through the orchard, mountain top vistas, peaceful motions and thoughtful considerations of a future filled with pies and sauce and family gatherings… this should be done annually, a tradition. How distinctive a moment that, all at once, you can be reminded of something you didn’t know you missed, but you realize you’ve missed very much, and now you’ll be sure not to miss again. Now how do you like them apples?