Memory of a Lost Tradition
Sometimes you just don’t know when some activity or other that you do is something that your kids consider an important part of their lives. Sometimes even they don’t realize it’s an important part of their lives. You may even share that feeling of sadness when you lose one of those things that none of you realizes is an important tradition until it isn’t there anymore.
Twenty years ago we lived in the small city of Cambridge. During our travels back and forth to visit my parents in Burlington we found a farm which sold fruits and vegetables. Our favorite purchase there was their fresh pressed apple cider. That apple cider was never that sickly sweet stuff which you find in the supermarket…no, they used a perfect blend of apples and the cider was perfect tasting. We started buying our apples there every Thanksgiving so I could make my apple pies for our Thanksgiving feast. Even after we moved away to live in Burlington we would make the trek to our favorite orchard to get our favorite apple cider and the apples to make Thanksgiving pies.
Well, it’s that time again, Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada. It falls a little earlier for us that for our neighbors south of the border due, I’m guessing, to our earlier arriving winters and thus, earlier harvest. My daughter and I have actually move back to Cambridge and were excited that our favorite orchard is now closer to us. Yesterday was the family Thanksgiving get together so my youngest daughter and I got up early so we could go purchase our favorite apple cider and the apples to make Thanksgiving pies. We were so excited that we could almost taste the cider before we got to the farm.
We drove out of the city talking excitedly the whole time about how great it would be to get the cider. I was making a mental list of the vegetables that I would like to get along with the apples to make the pies. We arrived at the farm and drove up the driveway whereupon my daughter exclaimed in dismay, “They’re closed!” I said, “They can’t be, it’s Thanksgiving”, thinking that they must have forgotten to turn their window sign around. But no, they had not forgotten to turn their sign around because there on their big white board that hangs beside the entry door they had written “We will re-open in June for strawberry picking”. We both gasped in disbelief…how could this be? There was a woman driving out as we were driving in. We both stopped as we passed each other and rolled down our windows to tell each other we had been going there for twenty years to get our apples.
My daughter and I drove off in shock and dismay. How could it be that we would never again taste our favorite apple cider? My daughter said sadly, “I think we should have a funeral service for the death of Lutz Orchard”. That was when we both realized that this had been one of our family traditions all of her life and that she was as sad as I was to lose it. We sadly expounded the virtues of that perfect apple cider that we had bought at that orchard for twenty years, every year of her life. We talked about how hard it will be to find another farm to buy apples and how we will probably never again find a perfect apple cider.
The thing that was brought to my mind once again is that it is those small things that you do, time after time, just like our yearly trek to get our perfect apple cider, that brings you together as a family. Often, as a parent, you don’t realize or think that your kids even care about those little things. It’s important to know that even when no one realizes how attached they are to the little things that you do in your lives together those are the ties that bind. My daughter and I will explore to find another orchard and continue our tradition of the yearly trek to get apples but we will forever miss that perfect apple cider and will have that memory to share for the rest of our lives.