Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy Labor Day

About mid afternoon, Chris declared, "I think this is the perfect Labor Day."

I questioned him on his declaration, "Because of the weather or the activities?"

He quickly responded, "Both."

I couldn't agree more. We had spectacular Labor Day weather: sunny, clear, warm (but not hot). As for the activities, we filled our day with a mixture of all of our favorites: friends, family (close and extended), and fun activities.

Our morning was spent with church friends apple picking in a beautiful orchard in Southern Indiana. I said to Chris, "I thought apple picking was a fall activity, isn't it still summer?" Chris reminded me that college football session had commenced, so it was indeed fall.

Be it summer or fall, the orchard was breathtaking, offering charming pastoral scenery and a natural snack bar for the kids. The rolling fields were lined with rows and rows of apple trees, segregated and labeled by variety: gala, jonathons, cortlands, and so forth. (Fortunately, the orchard provided an "apples for dummies" guide so we could select the apples best suited for our family.)

The boys ran between the apple tree rows, plucking sherbert and blush colored apples from the trees. Some fell into our bag, others went straight into their mouth. Once they tired of their horizontal play, they went vertical, scaling the trees, discovering the best apples residing on the higher branches.

I told Chris maybe we were meant to live in the country....someday?

At the conclusion of the day, we visited my 88-year-old grandmother (who lives not that far from the orchard). She accompanied us to a home cooked style dinner. The boys enjoyed comfort food fare: creamy mac n cheese, fried chicken, creamed corn, and decadent pies.

After dinner, we drove Grandmother to her house. The boys all seemed content with full bellies and worn out bodies, so Grandma and I got to talk, really talk. It wasn't a long talk, but a meaningful one. She shared stories about her mother, someone I never remember meeting. Then she told me two of the best things that happened in her life were:

1) That she married my grandfather and he and his family brought her (an "unchurched" woman) to church; and

2) That she went through the depression, because it taught her to appreciate all she has.

After she got out of the car, I thought how I'll always remember what she said and how those two things best exemplify her: full of faith and appreciation.

Today, I appreciate friends and family. The holiday was perfect because of all of you.

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