We've been busily decorating the house for autumn around these parts and the great outdoors has been obligingly helping us out by framing views of colorful leaves and blue, blue skies with puffy white clouds at every window -- from my bedroom upstairs, I can see the verdigris cross on top of the historic Presbyterian church silhouetted against the heavens, wreathed in the goldy-brown leaves from two huge oak trees. "Spectacular" is the very word I use to describe it.
Today, we put Wimzie on the leash and drove to the Jacob's Orchard, which has been the only orchard of my life. I flirted with Doherty's in Wayne County a few times because they've got those enormous walk-in refrigerators full of more apples than you've ever seen in your life, plus they sell about six different varieties of popcorn, going far beyond the typical yellow or white all the way over to your reds, blacks and blues. The red is gorgeous in its ruby-hued glamour, but I find it tough and not very corny in taste. The yellow and the black are my favorites. I am a popcorn connoisseure from 'way back.
Anyway, Jacob's has been around for a long time; so long, in fact, that it used to be named Anderson's Orchard, but the Andersons retired and sold it. The Jacobs seem to be making a good go of it, although I am miffed that they took away the pumpkin board. The pumpkin board was a big sheet of plywood painted white with three holes cut in it: small, medium and large. To find out how much your pumpkin cost, you passed it through the hole which corresponded with its size. Big honkin' pumpkins were something like $2.00, Mama Bear pumpkins were slightly less, and the little wee pumpkins were fifty cents.
I wish I could convey how much fun it was to carefully pass your pumpkin through the hole, only to find out that it was TOO BIG for the medium-sized hole, which meant you had a real whopper. I can only hope that you yourself had a pumpkin board at some sweet time in your happy past.
3 large orange pumpkins, for carving
3 tiny white pumpkins, also for carving because the orange inside is so cool lit with a tea-light in contrast to the creamy white exterior. But also because they're so cute, I want to kiss them and make baby bonnets for them out of construction paper and coffee filters and maybe sleep with them under my pillow.
1/2 gallon of cider
1/2 dozen cinnamon-apple donuts
3 large and gloriously bushy mums, one lavender colored, which I find very ugly but the girls liked it, one bronze and one burgundy red.
3 small cider slushies, one of which fell to the ground before I could save it.
You may have noticed a strange lack of apples in the purchases we made at the orchard, but all I can say to that is just shut up. We bought cider, didn't we? And I have a bowl of Red Delicious on the kitchen counter right now, so there.
We took Wimzie, as I mentioned, and she was absolutely delighted to go to the orchard and smell all the many different smells there. Plus, she met some goats, whom she found enchanting. They were mildly interested in her and sniffed her as she stood up on her hind legs at their gate. Wimzie sniffed them back and, when the biggest one found out that she didn't have any, food available, that goat reproachfully butted Wimzie with her head.
Wimzie also met a puppy, whom she deeply admired, and a black Lab that belongs to the folks at the orchard, whom she found offensive. She rode back home with her head stuck out the passenger's side window, eyes sparkling and bangs blowing straight back.
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