Sunday, September 28, 2008

An Apple a Day

Thanks to everyone who has sent encouragement on my last post. I feel so fortunate to have so many friends to call upon for support in parenthood. It's easy to second guess every decision you make and wonder what you are doing wrong as a parent when your child goes through a challenging time. I think it was a sign that I got a call from a friend recently who mentioned that his daughter was a senior in college. He said (totally unprovoked) "it goes fast and one day you realize they have turned into this amazing adult and everything you are doing now will be worth it." Today wasn't the greatest day here, so I am going to blog about what we did last weekend - on a day that Ella was especially good.
Nick has school every other Saturday & on this day, the carpet installers were coming to work in the kids bedrooms, so I needed to get the kids out of the house. I couldn't decide whether to take the kids to apple picking (a vivid memory of huge orchards from childhood) or a hot air balloon festival. My decision was made for me when Nick got home & saw that my tire was COMPLETELY flat. So, he had to hurry & switch out my tire before his friend came over to help us move furniture. I spent most of Saturday morning waiting trying to kill time until my tire was fixed. The balloon festival was out & headed off (late) to pick apples.
I've become too dependent on my car's navigation system & never bother to mapquest anything anymore. So, after an hour drive (and as I am watching the storm clouds roll in), I find myself at a dead end of a dirt road. Luckily, I noticed some signs pointing toward the State Park. I enlisted Ella to help spot the brown signs and we drove for another 20 minutes to the visitor's center. When I arrive, they tell me that I am lucky to have arrived when I did. The apples are almost gone & they are ready to shut down for the day. Relieved I listen to the complicated directions the gentlemen gives me, take the map & head out worried that after keeping the kids in a car for 1 1/2 hours, we'll miss the apple picking.
I pass the first marker & wait for the large turn in the road by the Aspen Grove. Long story short, it doesn't come and we find ourselves on a path up the mountain. And, it's not like the minivan has the greatest turning radius, so there is no where to go but up. Ella knows I am lost and says "Boy, I can't wait to tell everyone about this at school on Monday. They aren't going to believe how many times I got lost." By now, the twins are tired & hungry & crying. But, Ella was keeping her cool telling them that "Mom is just a little lost, we'll be there in two minutes."
At least the drive was pretty (see picture at the top). We turned around & found the parking lot that was within walking distance of the visitors center.
Apparently, we weren't the only ones to get lost that day. But, we were the last people to be allowed to pick apples. Greta was in heaven. She kept picking up apples & eating a few bites & then tossing them aside. Ella liked using the sticks with baskets to retrieve the apples. They only had about 4 apple trees, but the kids didn't care. I was so happy that we didn't miss the event. After we got our bag of apples, I was ready to take the kids back to the playground they saw, when the ranger said he would be conducting a Junior Ranger program. Ella wanted to stay & we learned about trees & went exploring & found yellow & red plum trees. They looked like little grapes & tasted fabulous. Greta especially loved them & as I was helping Ella pick some I saw that another little girl was feeding them to Greta. Luckily, the fact that Greta ate about 10 plum pits doesn't seem to have affected her. By the time the program was over, the twins were beyond ready for their nap. Ella was disappointed that we didn't get to play on the playground like I thought we would, so I promised that she would get to pick the park when Dad got home. And, of course, it was pouring rain when Dad got home. Poor kid - trying so hard to be good & Mom and Dad just keep dealing her disappointment. But, we did manage to make it to the park the following day - and bake an apple pie with our booty.

No comments: