How Do You Like Them Apples?

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.

🍏 A Gala of 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?

Waste Not, Want Not

I’ve been pretty busy the last couple of months. Now that I’ve been vaccinated, and the world, for a while there, seemed to open back up, I’ve been saying “yes” to just about everything. Weekend beach trip? Aloha! Stomp grapes at a vineyard? Cheers! Bachelorette party back at my university? Obviously! Outdoor concerts? Heck yeah! Friend’s wedding? Certainly! Trip to the mountains, art show, birthday parties…. I’m there, there, and there! Why not?!

It’s been a blast! And all of this yes-saying reminds me of my youth. I was up for anything! I played sports every day, went to parties on the weekends, ran around town with my friends doing this, that, and the third, all while fitting in schoolwork, extracurriculars, and part-time jobs. Of course my body recuperated a lot faster back then, and I could sleep in until noon on a Saturday if I wanted, but despite the changes, my tiredness is still outmatched by my youthfulness . It’s not so much a case of the FOMOs, but more a case of the YOLOs that inspires me to keep going.

My friend rolls her eyes at me often as she says I have more time in my day than she does. I laugh, but we both know it’s not how much time we’re given, but what we choose to do with it that truly matters. I don’t think she actually wants to do all of the things I do, but I do know she enjoys spending her time giving me a hard time. And, to be honest, I don’t want to do everything I do either, but some of those things are a means to an end, so if I hurry up and do it, I won’t have to do it anymore!

In high school I was given the Briarwood College Book Award for showing promise in the field of business. I was caught off guard, as I didn’t know it was an award, and I certainly wasn’t expecting to be the recipient. I was nominated for the award by my keyboarding teacher. Thinking back, I realize he probably noticed that, while my classmates were chatting, I would fly through my typing assignments and then quickly move on to complete work for other classes, or use the leftover time to plan events for Student Council. I was, and still am, always on the go. Just Do It. Get ‘er done. Shit or get off the pot. East Coast state of mind… move or get run over!

The proverbial saying, “Waste Not, Want Not,” has become one of my most repeated mantras for life. This way of living enables me to do more without needing more. I don’t want to waste time, so I seek out short cuts. I don’t want to waste my breath, so I seek out amiable relationships. I don’t want to waste my talents, so I spend time doing what I love. I don’t like wasting materials, so I’ve become more creative, resourceful, and strategic in my approaches. I’ve become a better cook because I don’t like wasting food, so I’ll get inventive with those three random leftovers sitting in my fridge.

I know, it can be exhausting just reading about it all, but don’t get me wrong, I love a good tv series binge-fest on my couch with the only movement being that of my wine glass to my mouth. Whether I’m sitting in silence, or racing from one event to the next, if I’m enjoying what I’m doing or working towards, then I’m wasting nothing.

In Search of the Eternal Buzz

My older brother, who is way cooler than I’ll ever be, used to drive a ‘76 Monte Carlo hot rod. On the back bumper was a sticker that read, “In Search of the Eternal Buzz.” As his younger sister, I gathered that search involved fast cars, beer, and babes. Much older and a little wiser, I’ve discovered that the buzz is as unique as the buzzed. As Cole Porter points out, ‘I get no kick from champagne, cocaine, or a plane, but I get a kick out of you.’ To each his own, right?

I’ve had quite the range of experiences in search of my own eternal buzz. Some healthy, some not. Some legal, some not. Some safe, some not. Fast, slow, expensive, free, large groups, alone, far away, right at home. I’ve come to find my brother’s life motto is another way of describing the concept of flow. It’s not about the end result, but the journey. It’s about living in the moment so deeply that nothing else exists. Leaning in with open arms, heart, soul, and mind.

I’ve also learned there are a lot of buzzkills out there. Avoid them. They are speed bumps that need to be swerved around. Some people just don’t like that others are happier than them. Misery loves company, and all that. Buzzkills are narrow-minded enough to think their way is the right way, the only way. But I’m rubber and they’re glue…

Some people are lucky and find their buzz early in life. Some are old and gray before their search comes to a blissful end. Either way, it’s important to keep looking. And once you find that buzz, just keep buzzin’.

So in my search, I’ve found that I love adventure. I love writing. I love traveling. I love food. I love wine. I love learning and knowing things. I love good stories. I love when things are clean and organized. I love puzzles. I love being able to fix things. I love music. I love my dogs. I love nature walks. I love cool air. I love to be entertained. I love to play. I love Christmas. I love the fall. I love to laugh. I love when the ocean or a mountain comes into view. I love the moon and the stars. I love my home. I love my family and friends. I love God. I love my daughter. And I love me. Every day I make time for something or someone I love, and so every day I catch a buzz. The more I focus on what and who I love, the longer my buzz lasts. Voila! It’s as easy that.

So what gets you buzzed?