Swans Trail

It occurs to me that I’ve never gotten a green pumpkin, so that’s what Missy and I end up getting. Rory picks a princess pumpkin of her own, and then ends up conning us into buying three little white ones the size of softballs when we go to checkout. My nephew gets a big fat orange monstrosity. My sister-in-law abstains this year.

It’s not even late, but it gets dark early this time of year at these latitudes, even before you take into account the mountains crowding the horizon. It’s only about three in the afternoon, and already we’re pushing the wheelbarrow back to the cars in the light of the golden hour before the onset of sunset. We have to go out a different way than the way we came in, circling to avoid the sucking mud pits and hordes of people.

Missy asks me, “Have you had a good time?”

Yeah. I have, despite our nephew’s usual drama and unpleasant attitude. More than anything, I’m glad that Rory had as much fun as she did, as that will always count more for me than my own enjoyment.

Something catches my eye as we round the corner into a part of the farm we haven’t seen before. There are row upon row of trees, their branches woven into one another with trellises in straight lanes like botanical walls. Their boughs are weighed down with the mottled red and yellow apples that could be anything from Honeycrisp to Gaia, or a dozen other varieties in between.

I nudge Missy with my elbow and point, wearing a self-satisfied grin.

I told you they grew apples.

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