every fall, my sweet momma and my poppo would load us up in the dodge with the old wicker picnic basket and a small cooler. we would drive out east on long island or head north into upstate new york. the baby of the family with siblings already out of the house, i always had a friend along. susan went everywhere with us. we would take mad libs and gum, snacks and cans of soda and we would talk and giggle our way to the apple farm.
it wasn’t like we couldn’t find apples near us; the jaunt away to apple-picking was the point. the walk in the orchard, the drive through leaves of indescribably stunning color. we’d stop at roadside picnic tables and take back country roads. we’d go to fall festivals and arboretums where mums and the latest-hanging-on sunflowers populated the walkways. millneck manor was one of those places. so was planting fields. treasured memories of time spent together.
a while later, as a young adult, i continued the tradition. when the weather insisted on sweaters and jeans, i would make my pilgrimage to millneck manor and to planting fields, maybe driving out east or upstate.
and now, a long while later, i think of those places, those times. the memories are sweet, macintosh-apple-sweet. but the yearning is real. every autumn makes me just as wistful. i think of my children jumping in leaves and pumpkins carved with silly faces. my parents and the old dodge. pies with homemade crust, hot soup and cocoa, the smell of cinnamon and caramel candles. fires in the fireplace or outside around the firepit. jeans, sweaters, boots. and apples.
MILLNECK FALL from BLUEPRINT FOR MY SOUL ©️ 1996 kerri sherwood