One of the best things about this time of year is making the time to go to an apple orchard on the weekend.
For my family and me, it was a way not only to get apples from sweet trees, but also spend hours as a fun activity.
Even as I got older, I would look forward to the days we would go pick apples. I liked walking around, looking for something to snack on, while my parents gathered apples for baking.
Going to orchards gave me the freedom to go out and do something after being stuck all day indoors because of school or work. It sucks not being able to stretch your legs and forget about the stress from those activities.
It also sometimes was the last time I could go out and enjoy the warm weather before the snow hit. I'm not ready for winter.
Going to an apple orchard was also one of the few things I could enjoy during the fall season when I was a kid or teen. Mostly because it doesn't really have an age limit.
The orchard my family goes to in Harrisburg, South Dakota, has something for everyone to do. In addition to picking apples, you can walk through a store that has lots of apple flavored foods and treats. There also are many activities for kids, like climbing and running around bales of straw stacked in a circle. I swear I could still feel how stretchy and uncomfortable it was if my hands touched the straw.
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Those days were some of the best, it gave a nice break from the struggles and stress I faced during the week.
Plus, it was one of the few activities where my allergies didn't act up and I didn’t feel like I was going to die from walking around too much. It helped that it was nice and cool so I didn’t overheat.
Also, at this point in my life, going to apple orchards feels like one of the only things my family could still do together, if we’re all around.
Getting together for vacations is becoming more difficult. Sometimes arranging weekend trips also can be hard, especially when two of us are either in school or working.
Getting a Christmas tree the weekend after Thanksgiving? Not anymore since my mom developed an allergy. So we have a fake tree now.
So, going to an apple orchard seems like the only thing we can do together, even though going as a family might end soon with all of us spreading out.
At least I still have the memories of going together, and an orchard nearby I can go to.