As a middle-aged white woman, there are things I am expected to enjoy: book clubs, wine tastings, and farmer’s markets, to name a few. Apple picking is most definitely on the list.
I like the idea of apple picking…
I imagine that I will wear my lovely new cardigan. And a giant, hipster scarf. And knee-high Hunter boots.
My family will sing songs and laugh together as we drive into the country and, once in the orchard, we will take a million fabulous, spontaneous photos.
On the way home, we will stop at a Farmer’s Market and grab some organic veggies and homemade breads. And we will feast on our bounty for the rest of the week.
Apple picking is a great idea. But, experience has taught me things. One of those things is that there is a very large gap between the idea of apple picking and the reality of apple picking…
The temperature variance in Nova Scotia in autumn means that I will need to layer. As a result, I will start the trip with my lovely new cardigan covered by a somewhat musty smelling winter coat pulled from the attic.
By the time we reach the orchard, it will be too hot for my lovely new cardigan. I will spend the rest of the day in a Joe Fresh black t-shirt. 10 minutes into the actual experience of apple picking, there will be visible sweat stains in the armpits.
My giant, hipster scarf will be left somewhere in the orchard. I will not remember this until we are too far away to turn back and retrieve it.
Also… Hunter Boots are very hot. My socks will keep sliding off. I will get blisters. And my feet will stink. A LOT. Because Hunters are just super-over-priced rubber boots!
My family WILL eventually sing in the car. But before the singing there will be a 20+ minute argument about whose playlist to listen to. This will lead to an extended debate about John Meyer and whether his vocal talents are, or are not, more important than his general asshole-ness.
And at some point, hubby will insist that we all listen to something he likes. This will be a 3-5 minute misery for everyone else in the car.
By the time we get to the singing, I will be rooting through the lint at the bottom of my purse, praying to find an Advil gelcap. Or a cyanide capsule.
At the orchard, I will approach apple picking with the same type-A enthusiasm I bring to my other life activities. As a result, we will end up with a mountain of apples. At least $40-$50 worth of apples. More apples than any family could possibly consume.
I will try to take fabulous, spontaneous photos of our fun day in the country. My children will immediately protest. They will insist on examining each photo and demand pre-approval before I can share anything. Apple picking will stop while we huddle together, critiquing the images on my iphone and running the one acceptable shot through the full range of Instagram filters.
If I am lucky, I will end up with a single photo – probably in black and white – and probably not including me. I may, or may not, receive permission to post it to Facebook.
The Farmer’s Market will be wildly over-priced. A pumpkin that costs $2.99 at the grocery store will be in the $8-$12 range. I won’t realize this until we get to the cash because they base the cost of the pumpkins on weight. FYI… pumpkins are heavy.
In fact, the Farmer’s Market folks weigh everything! FYI… vegetables, in general, are heavy. $40-$50 later we will emerge from the market with a giant pumpkin, an assortment of root vegetables, and a pie of some sort. On the drive home, the giant pumpkin will roll over the pie… more than once.
We will also get ice cream at the Farmer’s Market. Like everything else, it will be wildly over-priced. The flavours will have titles that make little sense. I will wind up with something that looks like chocolate but tastes like burnt coffee, or looks like vanilla but tastes like maraschino cherries.
By the time we get home, we will be too tired to turn our bounty of organic goodies into a gourmet dinner. We will either cruise through a drive through or order pizza.
For the rest of the week, I will hand out apples to every person who knocks on my front door, and berate myself for not finding time to make vegetable soup. Someone will steal the giant pumpkin off our front stairs. I will buy a replacement at the grocery store for $2.99.
I do not want to go apple picking for the same reason that I do not want to join a book club or attend a wine tasting. All good ideas but ideas are a dime a dozen. And a bag of apples is only $5.99 at the grocery store.
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I really enjoyed this Kim. I actually said to my daughter yesterday, “Let’s go apple picking. Nah, let’s not.” A lot of things seem like a good idea at the time, but the reality doesn’t measure up. Great post!
Buy the apples and make a pie with her instead. Seriously! The older I get the more clearly I see that the more immediate and less complicated your plan is, the better it all ends up! Also… you cannot drink and drive but you can totally drink and pie-bake.
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I actually suggested making a pie with her yesterday. She likes to bake alone, but I will try to coax her into making an apple pie. Thanks for the suggestion.
Not to be too self-promoting, but I actually wrote a piece expressing my thoughts about the value of pie. If you have a minute, check out https://stuffmydogtaughtme.com/2014/11/14/pie-love
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Thanks Kim. I will. One of the things I enjoy most about blogging is reading other people’s takes on things, which are often similar to my own. As for my daughter, she reiterated that she enjoys baking alone. I kind of get it I guess, but I think it’s more fun with other people.
Yep, sounds like the typical family trip to the apple farm. But just think how you’ll all laugh a few years from now when your own kids take their children on a similar trip. Fortunately, I managed to avoid all that with my family – no one particularly liked apples, and I can’t sing. One less memory, I suppose, but also one less day ending with Mom needing just one more glass of wine.
Heard a great comment last week about all the hours between coffee time and wine time being pointless. Apple picking is one of the “in-between” activities. Just saying.
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Some things are much more fun to imagine than to do. All around my area we have stalls where you can buy apples for about $3 a bag. Usually you just put the money in an honesty box,. Some varieties are available for most of the year as the orchadists have access to coolstores and top the stalls up. The more unusual varieties are only around for a few weeks. I’m also lucky that the local supermarket stocks locally grown apples.
We have those stands in Nova Scotia too. Love them! Also… I always put extra money in the box so it’s probably a great marketing technique!
You actually made me lol! So many theoretical ‘fun’ family things turn out to be actual nightmares in reality…
There is not enough time in my day to complete a list of “Fun Family Things That Turn Into Nightmares”. But if you want to give it a shot… happy to read it! Love your stuff!!
Ah thanks Kim…much appreciated 😊