Well Fall is here and everywhere I look there are pumpkins and apples, Indian corn and mums. It is a fabulous time of year. I was teaching one of my classes yesterday and I don’t even remember the context, but we were talking about traditions, and passing traditions down to family. The next thing I knew I was sharing a story about when I was a young girl and we would harvest all of the apples in my grandparent’s orchard. They had beautiful property and grew every kind of vegetable, fruit, and berry you can think of, but the apples, the apples were special. All of the sudden I was transported back in time. I could see myself as a little flip of a thing, running in the sun with my cousins, surrounded by dozens of apple bushels, and picking apples off the tree to eat. We would shine them with our shirts until they looked like they were covered in gloss, and they were the best apples in the world. My grandmother was a master pie baker, as well as my mom, and luckily they taught me this skill well. We helped make applesauce, apple cider, apple pie, apple butter, and every kind of fruit jelly, jam, and preserve you can think of. I loved every single moment of this, and I’m so glad that those happenings were part of my childhood.
I hadn’t thought about that memory for so long, I almost forgot. I think that life has a way of taking you back when you least expect it. I have been feeling a little sad lately, missing my oldest at school, wishing my mom was still here to share in these moments with me, but we had a wonderful weekend with our daughter at homecoming, and we’re getting ready to celebrate our youngest son’s birthday. This memory helped me snap out of my funk. There are so many distractions. I wrote a blog many months back about “the great electronics debate” and I still feel so strongly about taking time to disconnect and just be. Be with those you love. Make memories with your children and get them off their screens. I could not be more grateful for that fall harvest each year. I could not be more grateful for the time that I have had, and still have, with my children. In less than five years they will all be out of our house. I’m grateful that I will get to be an “empty-nester” with the best guy I know.
So after having this “V8” slap in the head moment yesterday, I realized that I am forgetting to slow down. I’m forgetting to appreciate the little things that are really the big things. Each year as my kids get older, time seems to accelerate. In a blink they won’t be sitting at my kitchen table doing their homework. They won’t be there to help me bake cookies, or snuggle with me and watch a movie, and yes even as teens they still snuggle. I don’t want to miss anything. I want them to know that I am present. I want them to look back and remember me talking to them while baking an apple pie. If you think about it, I bet you have some memories that take you back like I do.
I came home from work last night and was feeling tired. But there was a chill in the air so I threw together a big pot of soup, and on a whim I baked that apple pie that I was dreaming about. It was a great evening. We had dinner, we talked, and we were all present. That little moment was HUGE. So take time to smell the apples. Breathe in those moments. And when all else fails, give me a call. I’m happy to bake you my mom’s famous apple pie that I promise is better than any you’ve ever had. Deep thoughts for a Tuesday, but that’s my dish. Peace.