Part III. Simple Pleasures of a Farm Life

 

Yes, it was fun walking the apple rows and scenic forest farm roads, picking the best apples and munching them as we enjoyed the fall splendor and crisp clean air. But what made this trip special was that we could help out my relatives at Anderson Orchard during the apple festival. Kevin helped sort and bag apples, shuttle the tractor, pull apple carts from the fields. He seemed to be quite useful at home and on the farm…Hmm.

 

The success of the busiest weekend of the year was undoubtedly the joint effort of the entire Anderson clan, including the young and the old, the close and the remote, the friends that had become part of the family and the neighbors that were becoming more like friends. Everybody was pitching in, with the guys keeping the shelves stocked and managing the flow of traffic and the gals working the store and the concession stand. Back at the Anderson headquarters, the lady of the house was getting together a country supper of baked ham, scalloped potatoes, veggies, salad, and freshly baked biscuits to reward a good long day of work at the farm.

The whole time we stayed at my sister-in-law’s beautiful modern farmhouse on top of a slope overlooking rows and rows and rows of apple trees. “Baker’s dream!” was my first thought the morning we came down to breakfast and I realized my whereabouts. Every window I looked out and every door I walked out, there were fresh, ripe, delicious apples screaming apple fritters, apple dumplings, Swedish apple pie, apple Charlotte! I could totally learn to live that way!” was the conclusion of my short-lived train of thoughts; I grabbed Nicole, and we were out to pick a Jonagold for breakfast. I seemed to be quite content at the farmhouse and in the kitchen particularly…Hmm.

Nicole kept busy playing with her newly met cousins and friends, familiarizing herself with farm animals at the petting zoo, rearranging pumpkins at the pumpkin patch, and attempting snow angel in the straw piles of the kids’ playground. Bugging the farm’s cats and dogs as well as eating apples off the ground closely followed the top activities on her carefree list of things-to-do.

 

She was so excited with her new life that apples was pretty much what she subsisted on the whole trip. I didn’t protest much. For one thing, it was a healthy fruit with alleged claims of combating asthma, and, for another, she was fending for herself. Anyone who is still chasing their toddler with a spoon will know what I mean. She seemed so happy running from one end of the farm to the other from light to dark…day in and day out…Hmm.

As we were descending over Miami on the way back, I didn’t find myself sinking into my chair, clutching at its arms, trying to discern any intermittency in the humming of the engines. It looked like my phobia and I had struck some kind of a truce in between the four takeoffs and landings the trip entailed. As I was peacefully contemplating the lure of a farmer’s wife’ life full of kids, pets, and apples and watching Nikolasha munch a Honeycrisp and go “Wheeeee” every time the plane would go down another couple hundred feet, I knew we had a great trip.

P.S. The dent on the car popped out by the time we came back.

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