Monday, October 14, 2013

Fall Weekend at Ojiichan’s

We drove out to see my dad this weekend.

Fall is a great time to go as my dad has a lot of apple trees on his property that are usually loaded with fruit this time of year. Kai wanted to walk around and pick apples as soon as we got there.

After that we had lunch. And then Kai occupied himself with the iPad while my wife and I cleaned up the house just a bit. It would take a 10-man crew a few weeks to really clean the place, so we just did what we could while we were there.

We couldn’t work too long though, as Kai was itching to get outside again. My wife loves chestnuts and Kai knew that Ojichan has a couple of chestnut trees. So we went in search of the elusive treat

We saw a lot of the thorny shells on the ground that was evidence that the trees must have produced a lot of chestnuts. But with no actual nut inside the empty shells, it looked like the squirrels had gotten all of it. Finally, my wife spotted one with the nuts still inside the shell.

We found a total of three chestnuts.

We came back to the house and played a game of darts.

From the time that Kai first saw my dad’s electronic dartboard, he was fascinated by the game. The combination of numbers and funny sounds made a perfect combination. At the time of his first visit, he was too small to throw the darts well, though we let him stand on a crate just a couple feet from the board so that he could participate.

Now, my dad no longer plays as his eyesight has deteriorated to the point where he cannot really see the dartboard. But Kai has gotten much better and he can throw the dart from almost the same distance back as I do. So, he, Mom, and I played while Ojiichan watched.

After the dart game, the four of us drove to a nearby farm where we saw apple cider being made. It was the first time I had seen the process.

First, a woman washed the apples and loaded them on a conveyer.

The apples went through a grinder.

A man wrapped the apple pulp in burlap.

When he had five of those stacked up, he started the machine that pressed the juice out of the pulp.

The juice flowed into a tank.

And then we were able to pour ourselves some cider.

Afterward, we enjoyed the cider, and a dozen apple cider doughnuts which we also saw being made.

Both the cider and doughnuts were very delicious.

The next day, we walked around picking more apples.

Kai enjoyed tasting fruits from each different tree. Some were too sour, but he found some that he really enjoyed and we brought back a large bagful.

On the drive back home, we stopped at a country market that had a very wide assortment of large pumpkins.

We picked out the largest pumpkin that we had ever bought, and it was only $10, which is about a third of the cost we would have to pay at a pumpkin farm near our house.

And so we had a very pleasant weekend.

I know my dad was happy to see us, but I was also pleased that Kai had a good time.

There were many things that could have bothered him – the fruit flies in my dad’s house, the odor from the garbage we hauled away in our car, the odor from my dad who doesn’t shower as often as he needs to – but the boy who often wails at the slightest odd smell just went with the flow this weekend.

I really don’t know if he just did not notice, or if he did notice but had enough social decorum not to mention it. I’m guessing it was the former, though that would be a bit surprising given his ultra sensitivity to everything.

I’m just glad that he remains such a sweet kid who truly enjoys seeing all of his grandparents. Even the smelly one.


  1. What a great weekend! I kept reading, waiting for a moment of stress but none came! I'm sure you were very pleased that things went smoothly. That's just great! Cider and doughnuts just go together, don't they? That sounds realllly good to me right now! :)

    1. Yes, it was very delightful that Kai enjoyed the whole weekend without any stressful moments from him!

      And, yes, nothing beats freshly made cider and doughnuts together!

  2. I must admit...I had to look up the difference between apple cider, and apple juice. Apple cider is, by far, the superior beverage for health...and I would think, by taste.

    I think things are just so much better in the country. For me, I automatically feel de-stressed just being out in the open country. No wonder Kai felt good...nature + good food and drink + seeing family = good times :) A big plus...Kai is maturing. He naturally has a good more of his inherent personality will continue to manifest itself as he continues to overcome the negative impact of stimuli and negative emotions.

    1. Shiroi, this cider tasted like fresh apples, not the processed, too sweet taste of most apple juices.

      I know what you are saying about being in the country... the fresh air, open space, lack of crowds all make me feel more relaxed. Hopefully Kai is maturing... I'm sure he is but sometimes it is hard to tell :)... and that he will retain his sweetness as he grows older.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...