Early in our marriage, we made our home near Sacramento. It was a great place to live. The cities surrounding the capital still have a rural feel to them. It is such a beautiful area ~
did you know that Sacramento claims more trees per capita than any other city?
Remembering our years spent in northern California always brings a smile to my face. Our children were born in a small local hospital. We made friendships that remain part of our lives today. We learned many lessons about faith and life that strengthened our marriage. And, every October we went to Apple Hill.
is located in the Sierra Nevada foothills in the small El Dorado County community of Camino. The original sixteen apple orchards that made up
have grown through the years to include 55 ranches, wineries, a micro-brewery, spa and vineyards. The various orchards offer many ways for visitors to experience the fruit of their labor ~ fresh-pressed cider, apple donuts made-to-order, apple pies, apple milk shakes, caramel apples, and the list goes on! You can even grab a bucket and pick your own apples!
It has been almost 30 years since we moved from northern California to make our home here in the central valley. Many years have passed since we loaded up our two small children to spend a day in the orchards.
Last year we took a road trip back to Apple Hill with our daughter Amy and our grandchildren. Amy was only three years old the last time she was there! How fun to see it
for the first time again
through the eyes of Kaitlyn, Kyle and Jack, and taste
the delicious treats!
Well, it is October again.
We are finalizing our plans to travel north again to reconnect with friends and spend a weekend at Apple Hill with the whole family! The trees will put on a grand display of fall foliage and the scent of apples will permeate the air. Aside from the vibrant colors and edible delights that are part of Apple Hill, for me, it is a privilege to retrace my steps, to remember how things used to be, and to focus on God's faithfulness over the years of my life.
You see, there were times in those early years of our marriage when we went to Apple Hill because it was
~ money was very scarce. Those who walked with us then know the many ways God provided for our every need ~ money slipped anonymously into an envelope, bags of groceries delivered on our porch, and even the time the doorbell rang and we found a Christmas tree leaning against the door jam. We may have had little in those days but we were truly blessed.
Apple Hill is a place where we were a
family of four
. Never in our wildest dreams could we have imagined that someday
would not be part of this life. But even in losing a child, God has graciously cleared a path and caused our feet to not stumble. The sights and smells of Apple Hill remind me of who I am ~
the mother of Amy and Scott.
The orchards of Apple Hill are a reminder for me of the different seasons of life. Some seasons bring forth fruit; some seem cold and harsh. Some provide a time of refreshing; thankfully, some usher in the promise of renewal. So I look forward to once again immersing myself in Apple Hill. To see and feel God's faithfulness. To remember and renew my hope in Him.