I cannot tell you how much I've missed fall this year. I've realized that I am very attached to the changing of seasons, the newness that comes as the winter fades into glorious spring or summer fades to crisp fall. Here in San Diego, we're experiencing weather in the low 70s for the first time since summer began, and I'm grateful, but it's not quite good enough--there are no chilly, cozy, rainy days, no need scarves or sweaters. It sounds crazy to complain about warmth and sunshine day in and day out, but I can't explain how my soul has craved the sight of trees that seem to be on fire with color, the smell of burning leaves and dewy branches and the feeling of my lungs chilling as I breathe it all in.
Quite frankly, I currently hate every tank top and pair of shorts I own. I want to put them away for a long time.
I was determined to somehow find some fall scenes, but at the coast it's just not happening. And I'm sorry, local grocery stores, but those fenced off areas of your parking lots where you stack hay bales and pile pumpkins just don't cut it. So yesterday Luke had a club soccer game up in Orange County and I went along, hoping we could seek out some fall if we headed east towards the mountains. I typed "apple picking" into my Google Maps and noticed a cluster of 4-5 farms all in one spot about 1.5 hours northeast. It seemed promising, so off we went after his game ended.
We found a slice of fall and home, and to me, it was heaven. The air even had a tiny bit of a chill! There was forest! Trees with changing leaves! And even though we were two in a million other CA residents just trying to get their fall fix, we enjoyed hopping from orchard to orchard, sampling apples and ciders and picking a few to take home with us. We stood in an absurdly long line at Snow-Line Orchard to get some mini apple cider donuts (so worth it). As we searched a few almost-bare apple trees in a very small, somewhat sad orchard where the effects of the drought were obvious, we were reminded of the sprawling orchards near Houghton where we would be the only ones there, eating apples that were dripping off the trees and picking an entire bushel for $10. We admit that we've been spoiled in that regard. Still, what we found was a little slice--a small reminder--of that, and it was exactly what I needed.