Placerville, Apple Hill, and Pilot Hill

“Forever is composed of nows.”

–Emily Dickinson

Autumn is upon us and it’s glorious. I love everything that comes with the autumn season—fires in the fireplace, crisp air, rain, sweaters, sunrises, sunsets, and all of the autumn foods.

I spent the past weekend in Placerville, my closest high school guy friend (yes, PGHS grads) was getting married on Saturday night and I was honored to be a part of the celebration of marriage for someone with whom I have lived through so many of life’s milestones…and here yet another.

Main Street, downtown Placerville

I drove up on Friday and stayed at the Historic Carey House Hotel, built in 1857. Placerville is formerly known as Dry Diggings and Hangtown, both remnants of it’s role in the California Gold Rush.

Cool sign in the hotel

The wedding was Saturday evening so I spent the better part of the morning at Apple Hill. Apple Hill is not a town, rather a conglomerate of apple orchards. Apples are not only a sign that autumn is here, but also one of my favorite foods. I drove through the curving, hilly roads of Apple Hill and marveled at the trees and changing colors. I stopped at one orchard and ordered apple cider and apple cider donuts.

Apple cider and apple cider donuts

I had never heard of apple cider donuts so naturally I had to do a bit of research. The trick—I read in all the recipes—is to reduce the apple cider down in order to have a stronger and more pungent apple taste. After the donuts are fried they are rolled in cinnamon and sugar and served piping hot. How could they not be good?

The converted barn at the orchard I stopped at was a mad house of activity. The line for donuts and cider was fifteen people deep but I had to do it because when in Apple Hill…do as the people do and I guess that’s eat apple cider donuts.

The menu
Yay! Autumn!!

I sat on a bench and watched the kids and the families picnicking in the breezy autumn sun. The orchard had set hay bales in a circle and children were running around on the tops of the hay. I heard a guy sitting next to me say, “what can be better than jumping from bale of hay to bale of hay?” And I couldn’t help but agree. I watched the kids whose everything was chasing their friends from bale of hay to bale of hay. Later their everything would be eating donuts or throwing a fit because their parents told them running-on-hay-bale-time was over. But for now, they were filled with sheer glee. So many philosophers and theologians tell us the importance of living in the moment but I think a lot of adults in our society struggle with that. I know I do. I’ll be sitting in a meeting and start to jot my grocery list on the margin of my paper. While sitting in a meeting may not be as fun as jumping from bale of hay to bale of hay, chasing a squealing friend of mine, I would like to be present for the meeting. And for everything.

So while you read this, I hope you are enjoying a cup of coffee or maybe a pumpkin spice latte. I hope you are present and ensconced in the reading and the moment. I leave you with one of my favorite quotes by Henry David Thoreau: “You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.” I hope you’re enjoying the island of Pacific Grove as we welcome fall with open arms, well I at least do.

Welcome fall!
Life wants to live. Flowers growing through a crack in the pavement


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