Sunday, November 2, 2014

Come Home, It's Harvest Time

It's a Sunday, a beautiful day outside, frost on the ground, leaves that are left on the trees are a plethora of reds, oranges, yellows with touches of lime green and I'm a little melancholy today.  It is fall:  Gene turned back the clocks one hour last night and yesterday, while I was busy getting ready for holiday shows, he and the boys loaded up the apples in the pickup, drove  to Kristi's next door and made apple cider.  It was reminiscent:  the last time we made apple cider, Gary was alive.  Mixing the different varieties of apples, Gary made the best apple cider I ever drank.  When people come to visit, we put a little caramel topping in the bottom of a cup, pour in some heated cider, put some whipping cream on top of that, a drizzle of caramel topping and three red hot candies and we would have in our hands a powerful lipsmacking, ahhhh-inspiring fall drink.
The boys came over a few weeks ago and helped Gene pick the apples.  Another one of those crisp, fall days, we could not have asked for better weather for picking (and grinning):  Delicious, Granny Smith, Northern Spy (and a few other varieties) blended into one mindblowing liquid.  Each apple variety bringing its own flavoring to make the little taste buds explode with ecstasy and, believe you me when I say our little taste buds were working overtime with the vision of what these little fruits were about to bestow upon us.  We were provided a bountiful harvest this year, small, firm, juicy--it makes my mouth water just thinking (and writing) about them.  

 Gene brought out the hand cart and an empty box and he, Nick and Jake started on the Yellow Delicious tree.  The barrage of trash talk these three voiced kept me on the second story deck longer than needed to snap these photos.  I needed to be in the house getting things done but it was such a joy to my heart to watch these three with one another.  I did not, however, want to get caught in the quick sharp-tongued wit of these three.  Each one comes with their own expertise in describing the downfall of the other and, at times, it was hard to hold the camera still.  However, I did listen and I did learn each one's strengths and weaknesses... as least some of them, as seen through the eyes of the other two.  

 Once through picking the apples off the Yellow Delicious tree, it was time to move on to the Red Delicious tree.  Grandpa gets out the tractor, Nick hops into the bucket, and Nick and the bucket are lifted up to the higher tree branches.  The deer and I love this tree.  There is something satisfying to go outside and work, then, when the growlies (before the hungries) come, just go pick a couple apples off the tree and munch on them.  It helps to take the edge off the hungries and I can stay outside a little longer.  This apple orchard not only fed Gene and I, it also fed many deer who found respite from the many humans and dogs in the area.  We left them alone, enjoying their beauty--fawn, doe and buck--and the peacefulness they brought to the orchard as they munched on apples, always vigilant of where we were, and then laid down after having a meal.

Jake has the apple picker and, as you can see, he loves me.  Nick and Jake keep my little gray cells turning.  I love listening to them, listen to their views on the world, views of each other (remember, they are brothers!), views on their grandpa and grandma (we are loved but need to become more tuned in to the 21st Century--much, much more), meet their friends and listen to their interaction with one another.  These two young people are our future and, as I see it, the future is exciting and bright and positively good.    I look at them and, sometimes, I just well up inside because of who they are and who they have become.Yuck!  The thought of having to change their diapers when they were babies just popped unexpectedly into my head so, there goes that gooey lovey-dovey thought (and the tears in my eyes quickly vanished as well)!  

The outcome of all that hard work on the beautiful fall days was about 30 gallons of cider.  When I was a little girl, we use to sing a song, "Come home, come home, it's supper time.  The shadows lengthen fast.  Come home, come home, it's supper time.  I'm going home at last."   For some reason, as the apples were being harvested, I thought of this song and how it reasonated with my life.  Another fall, another harvest.  Another coming home and preparing for the winter.  Whether it is with the bounty of the earthly harvest, or the bounty of the heavenly harvest, the thought struck me and there is comfort in knowing we will all go home at last.

Jim Reeves – Suppertime Lyrics

Many years ago in days of childhood
I used to play till evenin' shadows come
Then windin' down that old familiar pathway
I'd hear my mother call at set of sun
Come home, come home it's supper time
The shadows lengthen fast
Come home, come home it's supper time
We're going home at last
Some of the fondest memories of my childhood
Were woven around supper time
When my mother used to call
From the backsteps of the old homeplace
"Come on home now son, it's supper time"
Ah, but I'd love to hear that once more
But you know for me time has woven the realization of
The truth that's even more thrilling and that's when
The call come up from the portals of glory
To come home, for it's supper time
When all of God's children
Shall gather around the table
Of the Lord himself
And the greatest supper time of them all
Come home, come home, it's supper time
The shadows lengthen fast
Come home, come home, it's supper time
We're going home at last