Sunday, October 22, 2006

Fall in the Old Dominion

Ever since my second year in college, fall in Virginia has meant a trip out to the Graves Mountain Lodge Apple Harvest Festival in Syria, Virginia. After a short ramble down the tree-lined rural route 609, past a few old general stores and a family cabinet-making business, we spent a couple hours in the fall air eating apple butter and cornbread, listening to bluegrass, and watching local kids (and the occasional random adult) clogging. We hit the festival this year on a crisp-air, clear-sky fall day, and a couple hundred other people had the same idea. The traffic on the road leading into the parking lot was quite slow because of this, although when we got to the area where one of the employees of the Lodge was directing traffic, we discovered that really the traffic wasn’t so bad–this particular employee was just being rather casual about his traffic direction. He was half-smiling, half-shrugging as he pointed in a not-all-to-clear way which direction the cars should go to find parking, and seemed himself to be having a pretty laid back day considering the hundreds of cars and people he was theoretically responsible for directing. Michael commented that he really could have been much more efficient about the job he was doing, but then in the next breath commented that this is why it’s good for him to go to southern Virginia every once in a while–everything’s not always about efficiency, and sometimes we just need a little reminder. How true. We met up with some friends from college and meandered through the festival grounds, tossed the football, contemplated a rather large cow, and played with our babies in a grassy field beneath the red-and-gold foothills. Nothing “productive” got accomplished–and I think this is just what we always need towards the end of October, two months into the sometimes scattered craziness of a new school year.

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