At a time when so much uncertainty still surrounds us, moments of familiarity feel more valuable than ever. Apple picking is a seasonal tradition that has always been one of our family’s Fall to-do’s. Thankfully, this year was no different. We are grateful for any and every outdoor activity we can do, especially now. With the cooler season encroaching, savoring these milder moments of Fall is something to jump on.
We’ve visited many apple orchards throughout the years, some large, some small, some with many apple varieties, some with just a few. As with any activity done with children though, it's best done with managed expectations. The vision of walking patiently together through rows of trees admiring them, thoughtfully plucking apples, then cuddling on a cute cozy wagon ride, as everyone appreciates this fun family activity - is a lovely vision, but has never and will never be our reality. In truth, it looks more like, dashing from the car, quickly dispersing into different rows, yelling for each other from opposite ends of the orchard, swatting at bees, debating who’s: found the fullest tree, filled up their bag the fastest, is correctly picking the apples from the tree (“twist, twist, twist, pull” is etched into our brains from the many years of Little Farmer field trips, but somehow the excitement of “the big red one” still eclipses proper picking technique…?). Regardless of how an apple picking activity actually plays out though, you’re (almost) able to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
This year (like every other year), more closely resembled the reality not an “idealistic” vision, yet it was still magical in its own way. And of course this mom had her phone close at hand to capture some of the magic. There is something very valuable in simple. This may not be a new lesson, but one we have all had a fresh teaching of lately.
Rasmussen’s is an orchard we return to nearly every Fall. Its uncomplicated ease has made it a place where we can come have a quintessential Fall experience that isn't rushed and isn't burdened by expectations. As we move more fully into Fall and eventually Winter, it’s quite likely we’ll need to lean into simplicity and fewer expectations even more. Seeking out small, local experiences, can not only help offset some of the “sameness fatigue” we’ll all feel, but will help reinforce the appreciation for simpler things. And in the Fall season, it doesn't get simpler than a crisp juicy apple.