Monday, October 04, 2010

Another Fine Day In The Country

We took our annual apple picking trip Sunday morning. It was about two weeks earlier than usual according to the season. The trees are quickly giving up the green I noticed, about two weeks early as well. Last year the leaves did not make the big drop until a week or so after Halloween. Judging by this year's early color they should all drop before November. Sure can't wait for that mess of work : 0

This is an annual trip we have taken since our kids were young in the early 80’s. We would take the dog along and made a day of it at an orchard in lower Michigan.

Sunday morning we went to the much closer Garwood Orchards near LaPorte IN and left early to beat the crowds of families pickin’ apples. Just me and the wife.

One thing I have noticed about getting older and being an empty nester is that we shy away from places where there are crowds of families with young kids. It’s an odd feeling because we enjoyed raising a family and participated in many traditional annual activities together. Even with the high stress career, I always made time for them. I took pride in being with them but it’s not possible these days except for very special occasions like the holidays.

We were involved in many, many family activities back then and met a lot of nice parents. But that’s not part of my life anymore. I know a few men my age who are on their second family with a younger wife and that just creeps me out. One family was enough for me and I cannot imagine splitting my attention between two sets of children because mine mean so much to me.

The wife chose to be a stay-at-home mom. While I did not earn much money at the time and could not afford the material ‘things’ others had, we sacrificed with a purpose and it paid off. We lived within our means and rarely used credit cards, which only delayed the inevitable. We saved and invested. It was the right thing to do.

Being a parent is in my rear view mirror now and I never thought I would see the day. Mine are both out of college (paid for) and working. Neither of them ever caused us any trouble. I want to think we raised them right. I give them credit for being fine young adults who think for themselves and use good judgment. It was a pleasure raising them.

These days, sitting back and enjoying crisp, sunny autumn days are nice but a bit hollow. I would love for my kids to be with us as youngsters again so we could do stuff together and relive those days picking apples among other things.

It’s an odd feeling not being able to deal with groups of young families anymore. Oh well, it must be my age.

Our trip Sunday morning to Garwood Orchards was very enjoyable. Blue sky, cool temperatures with a brisk north wind. We picked some fresh crispy apples off the trees. All were of the Fuji and Honeycrisp varieties. We ate a few while picking too. We like picking apples because they are so fresh, delicious and have no bruises. It’s been a once-a-year tradition but there are still a few weeks left to make another trip and get some more.

Here was a surprise, Garwood had fresh picked sweet corn at their produce store. Sweet corn!

How unusual to find great eating corn on the cob so late in the year. It tasted fabulous with the grilled chicken dinner.

We’re ready for seasonal autumn as well as the autumn of our lives. We’re prepared and ready to enjoy it. No regrets.

Life is much more better than good.


Chris from Colorado said...

Great apples. Great kids. Great wife. And great corn, you hit the jackpot good buddy!

Dan from Madison said...

Very nice post on several levels. Thanks for putting it up.

Dan from Madison said...

By the way, is the windmill in the photo operable?

Gerry from Valpo said...

Thanks Chris. We've both come a long way from those Munster years.

Yes Dan, that windmill was operable. I can't think of a better visual icon for the vast midwestern farmland other than a Harvestore silo.