Roslyn, Christopher, and I went apple picking today. It was a brisk (that's putting it nicely... it was really cold!) fall day with occasional glimpses of sun. We decided to go to the same place we've gone for the past two years, Steere's Orchard in Greenville, RI. As we were driving there, Chris noted that he'd forgotten something. What he'd forgotten was that the route to the orchard is the same one we had to take to the funeral home. I think it caught him a bit off guard. I wondered if he'd have agreed to go to this place if he knew it was on the way to the funeral home.
When we got there, I was consumed with memories of our first visit to Steere's two years ago. Two years ago, on a beautiful fall day, we decided to go apple picking. We looked online and found Phantom Farms in Cumberland. It looked like a lot of fun for the kids. When we got there, we were shocked to find out that, despite saying they had pick-your-own apples, they did not. After asking around, someone told us about Steere's Orchard, which wasn't too far from there. So off we went.
I remember so vividly walking through the orchard with Natalie in the backpack. I'd pick an apple, clean it off, and hand it up to her. She was only about 15 months old then, but she could handle eating an apple pretty well. And of course, she loved them! Boy, did she love to eat. Ah... the sound of her humming with pleasure. It is so wonderful to remember. Natalie was such a cool person. It was always fun to be with her. Roslyn had a great time, too. We all did. It was a perfect day. The only thing that made it not perfect is that I forgot to take the camera, so we don't have any pictures to remember our one and only apple picking outing with our precious little Natalie.
Last year, we went back to Steere's and hit it on a weekend when they had hayrides. Roslyn loved riding around on the wagon, grasping for apples off the trees as we passed through the orchard. It was so sad Natalie wasn't with us to have fun, too. Today, it was still so sad Natalie wasn't with us. I don't know if we'll go back to Steere's next year. Maybe we'll try someplace new. Now that it's geographically associated with the funeral home, it's not ideal. But, Natalie's absence is ever felt by Chris and me, ever in the forefront of our minds. I rather like the idea of continuing our tradition there. We'll just see how we feel next year.