sunshine, hay, and apples...

when i was a little girl there was an apple orchard close to our home.  every year as the leaves turned from yellow to orange and were brinking on the verge of red, we would go to the apple orchard.  mom would pack a change of clothes in my backpack on that special day, and i knew it was time... time for the apple orchard.  i would rush into the bathroom after school and change into my jeans, u of m sweatshirt, and old tennis shoes.  we would drive into the country changing colors flashing on the other side of the car window, until we arrived at the apple orchard.  becky and natalie and lindsey and kelsey would meet mom and jesse and i there.  becky and mom became friends when natalie and i were infants.  natalie and i were both needing use of the cry room at church at the same time... and the rest is history.  they became instant friends, and are still friends to this day.  i haven't seen these girls in years, but know that if i saw them tomorrow, we could pick up like no time had ever passed.  i think of them often, and treasure my memories growing up with them.  some of the fondest of those memories were at the apple orchard.  we would help pick apples and laugh and play and run.  i remember natalie getting her shoe stuck in the mud one year, and i still have a tiny little ring with an apple on the front corroded and turning green in a box somewhere.  the crisp air, and the sweet scent of apples filling the air.  the taste of hot apple cider after a long time of picking apples.  that day was one of my favorite every year.  and those memories are favorites in my library of memories.

there is a town about an hour from here known for their apple orchards in the fall.  i have been here since 2002, and still had never been.  on friday i turned 27.  and on sunday we got in the car, met my parents in nebraska city, and went to the apple orchard.  it was my dad's idea, and he funded the whole endevor... so how could i say no? 

the sunshine was warm and the breeze was cool.  it was the perfect day.  

the sun was so pretty at 4 o'clock, by the time we made it to the top of the hill to pick apples.  "come ON melinda..."  he doesn't care if the light is pretty, or if i am trying to practice sun flare pictures. he won't pose for a picture.

asher was in heaven.  strapped in tight to his stroller, he watched everything.  he watched us pluck apples from the tree.  he watched the people around us.  he watched the sun and the wind in the trees.  he oohed and aahed and didn't sleep a wink.  he didn't want to miss a thing.

it's a good thing we had him strapped in tight.  beause the stroller went off kilter once, and flipped right over.  my dad thought it was hilarious, as you can see.  i, however, did not.  asher came away unscathed.  at least from what we can see.

the apple trees were pretty picked through.  you needed to be an expert climber...

or have an apple picker.  we stole ours from an old lady.  really, my brother jumped off the hay wagon to grab it before the sweet little old lady even had a chance.  that's how we roll.

it took a few trees... but we found the good apples.  we laughed and walked, and tasted apples right off the tree.  we soaked up the sun, and let the breeze whip at our hair.  we tasted some wine, and drank some apple cider.  asher smiled, and tried to laugh, and talked away, odd noises that barely form sounds. 

on friday i turned 27, and i don't know if it is post partum hormones, or the fact that now i am a mother, or that my maternity leave is drawing to a close, or that really... i am just old.  but i felt old.  i looked at old pictures of matthew and i, and thought i looked young.  that is the first time i ever remembered feeling that.  i looked at a picture of me just a few years ago, and thought, "wow... we were so young."  and we were.  and we have experienced a million things since then, and grown in a million ways.  and now we are married, and own a house, and have a son, and have real life problems and struggles.  and for some reason, 27 seemed not like a child, not like a young adult, but like a real adult.  an adult who is inching toward 30.  

but on sunday.  i didn't remember those real life problems and struggles.  i just felt happy.  joy.  blessed.  and i didn't think about looking at those old pictures and remembering how young we were.  because i knew that if i were turning 21, i wouldn't have a husband who loves me more now than he did the day we got married, and i wouldn't have a house i can call my very own, and i wouldn't have asher, who has become my life in his 7 short weeks on earth.  and it is hard sometimes, and i can't seem to lose this pregnant stomach, and it's about time i start using the age fighting face wash.  but 27 isn't so old.  and 27 is where i am today.  and where i am today is happy.   

and really... with my life, who wouldn't be?


  1. Amy J in WI08:56

    Hi Melinda,

    I am a friend of Donna's, and I love reading your blog. Your son is the cutest little thing, and you have a wonderful writing style.

    Enjoy every minute :). The best quote someone gave to me as a young mother...."the days are eternal, but the years fly by." So true (as I get ready for my first college visit with my oldest).

  2. Oh that baby.
    And Matthew in a tree.

    Family times are the best.

    Love to your parents and bro!

  3. Karen F.10:54

    Great post..........Love Matthew in the tree and your sweet writing describing your perfect day! Beautiful, beautiful baby, what a blessing. So happy for all of you.

  4. Anonymous14:27

    when do you go back to work? Will Asher go to daycare? Jackie

  5. matthew18:06

    I am such an expert climber i made it six inches off the ground. Also the stoller tipped over because the bag you strapped to it weighs about fifty pounds.

  6. Classic picture of your dad and Jesse: both on their phones or iTouch or whatever technology the hip people are into these days.

  7. matthew... fancy meeting you here. i love you.

  8. jackie... i start back two days a week on monday. he will spend 1 day with my aunt and 1 day with my mom. we will keep it that way as long as we can.

  9. I found your site through Donna and I love to come occasionally just to read your writing. You have a way of being able to describe your feelings in a way that is so intensely personal, yet universal to all. Maybe...just maybe... you could figure out a way to use that skill and stay home to work. Your little family is precious.

  10. tishy... thank you for your encouragement! that is always my prayer and dream.

  11. Anonymous14:59

    Go for it Melinda Sue, take your blog entries and make them into a book: Writer's Blog or How I Got Married, Had a Baby and Wrote a Book... or some other catchy title! Promise, I would buy it!

    Our granddaughter Vera arrived this week, three weeks early. Guess our DIL is somehow related to your mom who you said delivered early. We are "over the moon" holding this little one, and she is little barely 6 lbs. But what sweet joy in such a little package. Heaven is there in her eyes.
    Praying for a book from you! jep

  12. jep, congrats on the baby! i imagine you are as happy and blessed as ashers grandparents are. i once heard someone say that grandkids are the only thing in the world that live up to their expectations. i am a long ways from finding out if that is true. ;)

  13. I don't remember getting my foot stuck in the mud. Thanks for remembering that for me. Someday we will meet up again, friend.

  14. natalie! i am thrilled that you stopped by my little blog. my memory is impecable. we may be in chicago in the spring... i will let you know!


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