When the leaves begin to change and the temperatures are a little cooler, that’s the signal to make the annual mountain trip.

Once every Fall, my family would load in the station wagon and head up to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Of course we’d make our stops at Lovers’ Leap for our annual photos and then spend some time at Mabry Mill. They would have people in period clothing making apple butter in a huge pot over a fire and stirring it with a long paddle. If you wanted to wait in line, you could eat at their restaraunt to taste their stone ground grits for breakfast.

Each of these yearly trips, we HAD to bring back apples, cabbage and sweet potatoes. I always thought that was funny because you can just get these things at the grocery store anytime you want them, but it was a tradition and one we wouldn’t let die.

Here’s the kicker to WHY I thought this was so funny…we wouldn’t get a little bag of apples, a couple of heads of cabbage or a handful of sweet potatoes. We’d get HUGE bags of each. Depending on my age, the bags were bigger than I was!

What on earth were we going to do with all that produce?? Well, it was my Mother’s tradition to make the trip then come home, divi it all up and deliver it to our neighbors. Some of them were older and not able to make the trip and this gave her an excuse to visit and tell them about ours.

Once I saw how much this meant, not just to the neighbors, but to my Mother, I stopped giving her a hard time about having to make the trip to the mountains just to buy fruits and vegetables.

She’s now the one who can’t make the trip and she so appreciates others thinking of her the way she did way back when.