As I ran back and forth through the seemingly endless rows of branches that hung heavy with the season's crimson bounty, I paused and tilted my head upward toward the bright sky, letting its warmth prevail against the crisp October air on my face. I was 8 that summer and my family was visiting friends who had purchased an apple orchard in Nashua, Iowa. The hours we spent exploring and sampling the candy that nature offered from every direction are memories I continue to treasure even now after a quarter of a century has passed.
Since moving to Iowa six years ago with my family, I have had the great joy of being able to take my own children to Apples on the Avenue. This year was especially sweet as I watched my 8, 7 and almost 5-year old run through those very same rows. Watching Lauryn, our 8-year-old, was as if I was staring into my own childhood in real time. What a joy to know my children will have similar memories to treasure when they are grown. If you haven't already this season, carve out some time to spend with your own family or friends wandering through an orchard's rows.