IT’S ALL GOOD: So many memories at the orchard

Lyman Orchards and I go way back. Starting when my boys were just tadpoles, we would take advantage of all sorts of events there. Winter fests, strawberry fests, Easter apple hunts, hayrides. You name it, we were there. Not to mention all the apple picking and the blueberry picking and the strawberry picking and the peach picking. We were always picking something.

One of my fondest memories is of my younger son, Jordan, on one of those blueberry picking days, lying on his back underneath the bush, just munching away on these delectable treats, one leg crossed over the other. I guess he figured it was the best angle for picking that bush clean.

That boy had his own way of strawberry picking, too. He would announce that he was going to do his picking down the row a bit, and off he went. When he returned his little cherubic face would be covered with strawberry juice. I don’t think a lot of strawberries made it into his basket, if any. Luckily, the lady we paid just laughed when she saw him.

Well, my boys grew up, as boys tend to do, but my love affair with Lyman Orchards continued. I supervised the Corn Maze for three years, and I had the time of my life. I was the Head Corn Cop, a title I wore proudly. The maze opened on Labor Day weekend, and I spent the few days before that learning all the “ins and outs.”

I had to know that maze like the back of my hand, and I did. I knew those paths frontwards and backwards and every which way. This always amazed me. It was an intuitive thing. I just seemed to always know which way to go. Surprising, because in a car I am completely lost. It is a miracle that I find my way home every day. I do well with corn, not concrete.

Every day I loved the fact that my “office” was a corn maze. You can’t be unhappy in a corn maze. You just can’t. I loved being in the great outdoors all day, meeting the most delightful people. And there were funny moments. Such as the time I was talking to one of the volunteers and a bird flying over decided to use my head as a Porta Potty. The person I was talking to was trying not to laugh, and to look horrified, but I didn’t see how we could view this as anything but hilarious.

She had two pieces of advice for me. One was to be sure to wash my hair when I got home. I think that was a no-brainer. The other was to take comfort in the fact that it was a heads-up (so to speak) that I was coming into some good fortune.

Actually, things did get better after that, but I am thinking maybe the next time that the Powers That Be decide to smile upon me they could skip the bird poop. It’s just a suggestion.

Other fun things. (Well, that last one wasn’t particularly fun.) I got to zip around in a golf cart. You know, you can go pretty fast in those things, relatively speaking. Another perk – I was never far away from the bakery that offered up those astounding cream puffs, of which I had many.

I learned something valuable, too. There was a lot to do, and often I wished that I could clone myself. There were so many directions I needed to be going in. So I did the only thing that I could do, really. I just focused on what was right in front of me. Nothing else. And then I moved on to the next thing.

That lesson would stand me in good stead over the years. Whenever I tend to get overwhelmed, I ask myself what needs to be done now, in the moment. And then I deal with the next moment and the one after that. Things get done.

Lyman Orchards, my boys and I have always loved you, and we always will. Thanks for the wonderful memories. I still can’t pass your corn maze without a good dose of nostalgia.


More From This Section