Klean Ambassador Jessica Medeiros takes us on a fun family adventure to her local orchard, Hard Pressed Cider Company, for a favorite autumn tradition: apples, cider and a picnic in the country, with our bottles and cups by her side.
The sun was late afternoon low in the sky, sparking on golden leaves and wheat stalks when we arrived at the farm. Heeding the autumnal call, we sought a countryside calendar moment of our very own, a winding and easy day of dirty knees and fresh air. Handpainted signs for cider and doughnuts were encouragement enough to turn onto the gravel road. The kids were instantly charmed by a green tractor and a barn full of plucky chickens scratching at the dirt floor.
The white trailer serving up locally-sourced apple cider was our next stop. The air was sweet and steamy as we filled our thermoses and, clutching a bag of doughnuts, went off in search of a quiet patch of sunshine for our picnic. We nestled next to the cow pasture, watching them nuzzle their babies and chew while we did very much the same. Warm cider was poured all around, snuggly smells of apple and cinnamon mixing with the earthy air of the farm. Lazing back, sparkles of sugar fell on the wool blanket with each crispy-tender doughnut bite. Maybe we should get a few more to take home?
All of the extra space seemed to draw us closer, inspiring us to hold hands and gaze a bit longer, tap into silliness, drift along and take notice. Even as the chill of the evening announced itself, we lingered, basking in the warmth and sweetness of being together.
As we packed up, the boys each grabbed a thermos, swinging it gently as they made their way up the path. With such a sense of purpose and certainty, they seemed perfectly at home, heading towards the barn after a long day with mucky boots and sun-kissed noses
The shadows were stretching and striping the ground as we slumped back into the car, finally still, feeling the good tiredness tingling in our limbs. We are quiet, listening to the evening sounds of a world so different than the one we’re returning to. But for now, the distant crow of the rooster and the earnest farewell woof of the barndog are ours.
A tap on the seat back. A small, sticky hand outstretched, holding an empty cup. It’s impossible not to smile. Okay, fine, one more for the road.