Tuesday, October 24, 2006

You Sure Know How to Pick 'Em

RaggedyDad and his girl Ann
Originally uploaded by momraggedy.
We had a big family outing to Masker Orchards in Warwick, NY (about 60 miles away) this past Sunday. My brother, sister-in-law, and their 3 kids were going there and we decided to join them rather than visit the 'park with the big red tree' a.k.a Caumsett Lake State Park, which we will probably try to do another week, weather permitting.

The drive was beautiful. I was about to write spectacular, but I feel like that word is totally overused to the point of being meaningless on every website's description of every autumn activity that exists. As in, "Visit Park XYZ, it promises spectacular fall foliage" or "Just outside the museum, visitors will appreciate the spectacular fall foliage" or "The zoo is located in close proximity of some spectacular fall foliage." Every single place is using that three-word term. Spectacular. Fall. Foliage. Aaaahh!!! Enough already!!

I had never picked apples before this past Sunday. We really enjoyed it, although I think coming 2-3 weeks earlier might have meant more apple varieties, more apples closer to the bottoms of the trees, and weather a few degrees warmer. Because of all of the holidays, though, this was the first Sunday we've had for going places in a long time.

I think what made it the most fun was being with family, especially extended family. Even though we live about 30 minutes away from each other, we don't see my brother and his family all that often. My other brother and all of RaggedyDad's family live overseas, so we should get together more.

My sister-in-law is one of those people who is funny without intending to be. She has a knack for asking for help or directions from the person least likely to actually know the answer or speak English. And she's very sweet and naive about it. Case in point: our cars were parked on "Sauce Lane" within the orchard (apple terms abounded here) and we were trying to get back there. RaggedySIL sauntered up to someone about three times her size who probably just broke out of Sing-Sing and was picking apples to throw at the prison guards and help break out some of his friends. "Excuse me, do you know where Sauce Lane is, sir?" The guy did not even know what to make of her question. He certainly did not know how to help us get to Sauce Lane.

RaggedyDad did a good deal of the drudge work on this outing - including but not limited to: lifting the kids onto his shoulders since most of the apples that remained were of the waaay up high variety; lifting all of us over some of the more intense muddy ditches that are just part of the fun at a country orchard; most of the driving; wiping down the apples for any eating we did while at the orchard. RD gets the good sport award for the day, and we all have enough apples for apple cake, applesauce, apple pie, apple kugel, baked apples, ad infinitum. And the fall foliage was spectacular!