Like many Midwesterners, we heeded to the call of the cider mill this sunny October afternoon, taking a drive up to Erie Orchards to partake in the fall festivities. Normally I grumble a bit at the tackiness of some of these places, and certainly the presence of an Elvis impersonator and vendors selling plastic trinkets would normally rile up my inner curmudgeon.
Yet this was a different sort of trip, as we brought along my baby granddaughter Isabella and my niece's toddler, Lily (pictured on your left). Some of the activities that seem mundane or even kitschy take on a different meaning when you are accompanied by small children. For the kiddies such events are grand fun, or are at least new and exciting, so we can derive a different sort of enjoyment just being around the little rascals as they run in the hay, feed the reindeer, and fend off the yellow jackets.
Oh, and surprisingly we saw very few yellow jackets at Erie Orchards today. I am not sure if this was coincidental, or if the folks running the place actively suppressed the populations of hornets and wasps, but this was the first time I ever visited an apple orchard in which I was not at least momentarily annoyed by the persistence of buzzing pests.
Sun, cider, doughnuts, and good company were aplenty, and perhaps I turned the corner on being more amenable to the tradition of pumping currency into local apple orchards.