Smoke filled the air on a crisp fall Michigan morning. It was the weekend and neighbors were out in snuggly white cable knit sweaters, jeans and boots raking up mountains of bright red orange and yellow Maple leaves. Kids and dogs jumped happily into the mounds of crunchy dry leaves giggling and happy for the return of fall, a welcome change from the hot and humid summer months left behind. Spring and fall are such awesome seasons in the northern midwest. I loved fall the most.
Fall came early in Michigan. Temperatures began to dive once Labor Day arrived and school began. Mom could be found knitting brightly colored yarn that stretched like a clothes line from her knitting bag on the floor beside the chair as her long metal needles clicked and produced long scarves, warm caps and mittens. And, if Grandma Kathy was visiting, the house smelled of cinnamon and apples as her scrumptious pies with fancy sugared crusts baked in the oven.
Of course the Franklin Cider Mill was a frequent stop to grab a bag of freshly fried donuts and a jug of cider.The mill opened Labor Day weekend and stayed open producing cider and donuts until Thanksgiving Day. While you waited for your order you could observe the process. The huge press can hold up to sixty bushels of apples on each side. They would yield about three gallons of cider per bushel of apples The cider is not filtered, pasteurized or contain any form of preservative, just pure fruit juice that must be refrigerated.
Living in Florida and raising our family at the oceans edge has been wonderful, but I do wish they could experience just one fall day in my home state of Michigan, where the Upper Peninsular is often referred to as God’s country.