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For all of the “bad days” a person has, there are one or two days like today that shine like beacons of hope, promising that, if you just hold out, maybe God will give you one of those good days again.

It’s fall in Michigan. The leaves are turning, the air is crisp, but the sun shines and the clouds are complex. Apples are ripening and that means apple cider, caramel apples, apple crisp, apple pie, and the all important cider donut (that has nothing apple in it, but is now a necessity when one stops for cider).

For me this also evokes memories of making apple cider as a kid in a handpress set in a wooden wagon. It wasn’t pasteurized, but nobody died or became ill and it made me appreciate the hard work that goes into producing the food and drink we consume and that something that grew out in our yard could yield something so yummy. And the smell, weeks later, of the fermented pulp that had been dumped behind the garage was a second treat:)

It’s also the season for bike riding without sweat. While I was biking today on a railroad grade-cum-bike trail I noticed some apple trees and wondered how they got there. Had hoboes thrown their apples out along the tracks and one had rotted away, the seeds had taken root and one sapling had made it to adulthood? Or were these apple trees part of the farms alongside the railroad track that had been separated from their farms when the railroad came through? Either way, now they grow apples for nobody but the critters who dare to come close enough to the trail to eat them up.

And in a few weeks, I’ll be enjoying the same smell I enjoyed weeks after pressing apples as a kid. But now it makes me think of hard cider and a nice pub in Cambridge and a cute boy with curly hair and wire-rimmed glasses. Isn’t memory lane fun?