Every autumn of our relationship, Jahred and I have found ultimate satisfaction in apple picking. On HWY 169 (the 80 mile stretch of road we figure to have driven more than 2000 times together) an orchard sits atop the hill. Along side the road, a billboard posts updates throughout the summer on the apple growth.
Starting out in early spring, the board may say "pruning the trees". "The apples are the size of golfballs"...thats the point where we get excited. Watching the sign, gazing up the hill, and driving past...this is how we spend our summer in the car.
Late August and into September we are glued to the weather radar for a glimpse of that perfect weekend to ride the hay wagon, be dropped off at the special picking location, and to hunt through acres of trees for the most perfect apples.
The real reason I married Jahred wasn't for his "awesome cleaning skills", his "mad lawn mowing skills" or his "ability to wear even my home-grown haircuts"...it was because everyone knows the best apples are at the top of the tree...Jahred is 6'4". (By the way, the first 2 example reasons to marry him are sarcastic...just wanted to clear that up.)
Today turned out to be THE day. We had the complete package; great weather, a kid that behaved, success at cramming more apples than humanly possible into the $10 all-you-can-stuff bag, and we came right home to our NEW "Ultimate Apple Peeler, Slicer, Corer" (UAPSC...as we affectionately call it). The yummiest part of our tradition is creating an apple sauce that not only adds a layer of "stick" to our kitchen, it tastes GREAT.
To spare you the details of me crying over such a divinely created machine as the UAPSC...I will just tell you that over the past few years I have lost plenty of religion over the peeling of hundreds of apples. This machine saved my life today, and perhaps my marriage.
While I was waiting for the apples to cook down into the apple sauce we LOVE because it's our OWN, Jahred took the boys for a walk. Therapeutically stirring and mashing, I wondered if the old apple trees notice all the couples like us that start with two holding hands and blossom into a family. Each year I crave the smell a little more, feel more a part the earth, become grounded once again, and then I miss it for 364 days until the next autumn.
peels are pretty...but cinnamon and sugar are yummy
My first spoonful...no matter how old you get, you never become patient enough to let it cool.
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