You can tell it’s fall when apples and pumpkins take over the produce section at grocery stores. Or, your cravings switch from dark chocolate to pies and other tempting sweets. For me, it’s homemade hot apple pie topped with a huge helping of vanilla ice cream. A close second is pumpkin butter which takes toast to a new level.
Thinking about these scrumptious foods makes me recall two memorable times with friends.
My first memory took place in apple country: Julian, CA. This small mountain town lies about 60 miles outside of San Diego and is known for its orchards and homemade apple pies! Yum. Yum. These days Julian is a tourist destination for city dwellers who long for those wide open spaces and a slice of pie. That includes me and two good friends, Debby and Linda.
Our trek there last fall was a belated birthday outing for Debby. As a way to make her day unforgettable we gave her a large gift bag full of wrapped items with this one directive: “You are to open two presents every half hour!”
Giddy, Debby took the bag and to her delight pulled out two packages which when unwrapped brought on a smile and a "Whoo hoo!" The gifts? Bag of black licorice (her favorite candy) and a scented candle.
While we made our way along the curvy back roads laughter filled the car from the telling of stories from our childhoods. But every 30 minutes the talking stopped, Debby opened two more presents, and then the chatting resumed.
Her gifts were a menagerie of items we knew Debby either liked or could use: a red-gel pen (She’s an editor and this is a must have.), notepad, hair clip, book, chap stick, green tea, business card holder, bookmark, DVD, incense, peanut clusters, coin purse, gift card and more!
Once we arrived in Julian we walked main street where we perused a bookstore, looked in a few specialty shops, lunched at what once was the vintage corner drugstore, and went on a search to find the local jail (no longer in use). Last stop was The Julian Pie Company to buy two whole pies to share and devour with others back home.
|I wonder who got the final piece of the apple/rhubard pie at Debby's house
Curious to know how Debby viewed last year's birthday adventure I asked her "What was your favorite part about the Julian outing?" She was quick with her answer: “It was the drive up there with the fun presents and conversation. But I also loved our lunch time—the food and the company. I love simple, day outings.”
Simple. Day. Outings.
Did you notice she did not mention "pie"? No, what she cherished was being with friends, and laughter, and a few hours on the road viewing God's creation.
I'm convicted by her words, as I too often let tasks take precedence over being with others. It's time I plan another relaxing getaway. Perhaps to nearby Oak Glen, well known for its apple dumplings and scenic drive. I'm pretty sure Debby will want to go.
My second memory took place at a big, red barn in New Hampshire a few years ago. It too involves apples. I'll tell you all about this special event in my next blog which I promise will be soon.
Hope you'll come back!