Photo: Visitors enjoying the rows of apple trees at Sky Top Apple Orchard. Photo by: Amy Yarborough
Hidden among the trees high on top of a mountain, a cool breeze blew as I stood in a line surrounded by families and groups of friends enjoying a Saturday afternoon. The sun shown brightly in the sky, yet standing in the shade I felt the familiar chill of summer finally becoming fall. The temperature was not the only sign of a change in the season. As I looked around I saw hints of red, yellow and orange on the leaves of the trees.
I became distracted from the leaves when I heard the ringing of what sounded like an old fashioned church bell. I noticed some children in the distance had discovered a bell and were taking turns swinging at it with what appeared to be a large stick. They were reprimanded by their mother and quickly ended their charades just as I felt an unfamiliar tickle inside my hand. I shrieked surprised to see a yellow jacket casually waltzing around on the palm of my hand. Just as scared by me as I was by it, the yellow jacket zipped off to join a few of its flying friends that were buzzing around enjoying fallen apples on the ground.
All of the distractions were not enough for me to forget that I was still waiting in a line. A line that felt never ending, a line that wrapped around several picnic tables and a building. People from all around, people young and old, were all drawn to this line because of the sweet smells of cinnamon and the delicious treat that was waiting at the end. I finally made my way up to a small screened window on the side of a red wooden building. The cashier behind the window seemed focused and on a mission, trading my crisp $1 bill for my long awaited sugar coated donut.
I made my way from the window through a maze of people, pumpkins and tables filled with red, green and yellow apples. I stopped at the edge of the building and admired the view of the rolling mountains and the rows and rows of apple trees. I picked up the warm soft donut and took a bite. I savored flavors of cinnamon, sugar and apple. I finished my last few bites and wiped the last remnants of sugar off the tips of my fingers and on to a napkin. I tossed my napkin into a nearby trashcan and followed the crowd down the gravel path into the groves of trees.