just a little of the everyday sort of magic

Aodhan gets a little help with some apple picking from Israel.

Yesterday afternoon was such a perfect example of how wonderful our ordinary and everyday often is.

Now we’ve made it into October, so I think it is really officially Autumn (even if the calendar says that happened a bit ago).  Fall is quickly becoming my favorite season, and days with this absolutely perfect weather are largely why. Also, yesterday was Dad’s birthday, so that’s just another reason to gather and celebrate.

Maybe after you make it somewhere into your fifties you just start the counting over again?

There was homemade clam chowder and cake (and brownies and zucchini bread) and pumpkin ice cream and presents and about thirty family members and about a dozen one-of-a-kind birthday cards made by various grandchildren.

 If this right here is the view on any of your birthdays, a room crowded with smiles and a dozen homemade cards, I'm pretty sure it means you are doing something very right.

But it gets even better, because there were also all sorts of trees full of apples just outside every door and my grandmother’s apple press ready to go to work.

Zoran making some juice with Ahni & Lettie. I have photos of me at this same age, at this same old contraptions, making apple juice at my grandma's with my cousins.
Work goes pretty quickly with dozens of pairs of hands to pick, haul, cut, press, & strain.
the boys manning the machinery
 My kids are so much better at appreciating where they live and all these simple things we do than I ever was at their ages. Looking back, I really appreciate all the traditions we had growing up, the way my parents made us aware of and helped us enjoy each season, but I’m pretty sure I was largely unenthusiastic about a lot of it at the time.

Coming up with a plan to make the sunflower seeds edible


My kids aren’t like that at all. Even though we do something nearly every week with this huge crew, they look forward to every family meal or afternoon get together. They tell their friends about Christmas trees searches in the winter, Bison Range picnics in the spring, the best camping and swimming places for the summer, and these apple-picking afternoons and using Nana’s apple press in the fall. We have dozens of local places we go and season-specific activities we’ve tended to do on a regular basis since they were born and now they not only look forward to whatever is up next, as they get older they are more persistent about reminders and start to help with the planning.

 I love how well they know their home and all the ways to enjoy it, and how eager they are to keep adding to this knowledge.  

And really, they’re so much smarter than I was.

What could be better than apple trees full of cousins on a Sunday afternoon?

Except maybe apple fights with your yaya?

Days like this remind me to plant more trees, even if only a few live and even if I'm not around to see them big enough for kids to climb in.  My dad and mom have put in hundreds of hours of work and probably nearly as many plants into creating a small patch of Eden outside their front door, but this space was taking shape long before any of us lived here.  All the mature trees are such lovely evidence people began caring about this place long before we all showed up. 

Maysa picking a few apples
Of course days like this make it a little hard to get excited about the school and work routines that always follow the next day.

Paisley inspecting the newly repaired shed door. . . the bears have been aggressive this year, to the point of taking out much of this door to get to the garbage (locked away from them) inside.

Luckily, the every-day-sort of magic tends to linger.


  1. I absolutely LOVE your pictures today. Those apples are fantastic. And the first shot...melt my heart PERFECT!

  2. Such a WONDERFUL post... LOVE the pictures... You have a really beautiful family! Have a fantastic weekend! xxx

  3. Are you kidding me with these photos...they are amazing...each one them tells a story...nice job!

  4. Looks like your dad had a wonderful birthday. And an apple press? How fun!!