Joel Vernier

Fall is one of my four favorite seasons. Fall not only offers some of the best eye candy of all of the seasons with the color tour, but it also elicits olfactory gland titillation from the evolving musty smells of decaying leaves, molds, and various earthy fragrances. Blend all of this with the occasional rutting and scraping sounds off in the distance. Fall is indeed a smorgasbord of sights, smells, and auditory delights. One of my personal favorites is a trip to the local cider mill. As I woke from my mid-day nap in my “Comfy Chair,” I called to my wife, “hey, let’s take a drive to the cider mill!” She responded, “I have been thinking about doing that this week, let’s go!”

We bounded out the door like two school kids getting out for a field trip. Once loaded into the SUV, we were off on our adventure into the wonderful world of a Michigan cider mill. We are fortunate to have this great natural resource. What do the people in other states like Arizona or New Mexico do this time of year? Do they go to the “cactus mill?” Tequila and donuts just does not seem appealing to me.

As we approached the cider mill, we noticed that the parking lot was filled with cars, but there was room for one more. The sounds make the experience better, the squeals of delight from the children as they chug down a cup of cider or take a bite out of a freshly made donut. Also, the glazed-over look of an adult who has consumed too many goodies and the carbo-coma set in. Today they serve hard cider, an adult type beverage. When I was a kid, we made “hard cider” when we accidentally left the cider jug too close to the refrigerator coils and it froze.

There were happy people everywhere, social distancing, of course. Joyful sounds of sipping, munching, and people carrying treats to their cars, hoping that they will have the willpower to not consume their loot before they get home. Several bees were acting like “predator drones,” surveying the area, buzzing around the people’s heads, and the cider and donuts, often landing on people causing them to shake and scream. 

We entered the main building and were immediately engulfed in the sugary, cinnamon grease-flavored cloud that hovered over everything in the room. It was amazing. As we approached the counter, we began to select our donuts, glazed, sugared, and plain for those on a diet. We ordered a gallon of cider and two cups. We found an empty table and sat down. Then it happened, we entered the “quiet zone.” A moment of time dedicated to the consumption of glorious cider and donuts, indeed Michigan, heaven. 

After the feeding frenzy of a dozen or so donuts and at least half the gallon of cider, we were almost ready to go home. As we walked toward the door, the display of caramel apples and apple pies was too much to bear. Quickly, we ran back to the sales counter and added to our order. Next, with an ample supply to ensure that even with snacking on the way home, we should have some tomorrow, and for any friends that may stop by. Feeling sluggish and satiated, we began our journey to home sweet home.

I love the fall season in Michigan, but all of this activity and the carbo-coma will result in another nap in my “Comfy Chair!”

“Remember, every day is a gift! Some are just a little more fun to open than others. – © Joel M. Vernier 09/16/2020 Author of: “The Guinea Pig In The Freezer.” joelmvernier@aol.com.

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