Autumn in Colorado was always my favorite time of year. The changing colors of the trees, and driving up the Poudre Canyon to see the hundreds of shades of green, orange, yellow, and brown was always a fun day. Fall in South Texas is also beautiful but in a different way.
Mesquite tree leaves do not change colors. They are there one day, and all it takes is one windy day for them to litter the ground. Once those leaves fall, the landscape in our area looks completely different. A road lined with mesquite trees will look full and lush and welcoming in the spring and summer, but look empty, dead, and barren in the fall and winter. Houses we’ve never noticed before stand out in the naked trees. I never before realized that the houses on the road behind us are at a higher elevation than we are until Josh and I were outside one night after dark. He pointed to some headlights that seemed to be floating in the sky. He said, “See those headlights? That’s their driveway. We can’t see it in the summer because the trees block it.” I was in disbelief. I drive on the adjacent road a few times a week, but never really put it together that there was such a hill between our streets. It just took a few missing leaves to completely change my perspective.
Our neighbors on the west side of us have finished building their home, and it looks so beautiful. Frostee is getting used to their noises. They have three younger girls who spend a lot of time outside playing. We spend a lot of time saying, “Frostee, it’s okay. Frostee, friend.” The lot on the East side of our property is vacant. It is owned by someone but there are no buildings on it. It is just an undeveloped lot. We really hope to be able to purchase this plot of land someday. Not to build on it, but to preserve the wildlife that calls that lot home. A family of deer, a family of migrating Sandhill Cranes, and hundreds of birds and bunnies. We needed to clear the grass and weeds that were growing up on the east side of our fence. Since the day we moved in, we’ve never seen anyone come and maintain the land. One of our other neighbors indicated that he had not seen anyone on that land in probably eight years or so. Josh decided he was going to trim the fence line. Then he went back for a little more… then the neighbor on the other side of the property came out and between the both of them, trimmed the whole back side of the property!
We heard there was a small pond in there that someone dug out years ago, but we’d never seen it. Cleaning up the branches and grass allowed us to see it. It only fills up when we get a lot of rain, but the wildlife sure love it!
We were gearing up for Thanksgiving. This would be our third Thanksgiving here. The first year, we ate at one of our favorite restaurants in Port A, Virginia’s on the Bay. They had a special Thanksgiving menu. That was the first time we ate there as “locals” 😁 Last year, it was just Josh and me, but I went all out. Turkey, cranberries, mashed potatoes and gravy, the whole traditional dinner. We had leftovers for a VERY long time. This year would be different… My Dad’s sisters, Aunt Jeanne and Aunt Marian, were coming to town! They were traveling from their home in Arizona to Texas for a wedding and wanted to see if we wanted to get together for the holiday. I said, “yes, of course! And I’m cooking!”
I began to plan out our menu. I really enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, just like I made the year before. I wasn’t sure what to make for dessert. Josh and I don’t care for pumpkin pie too much, and I just wasn’t sure what Jeanne and Marian would enjoy so I asked them. A request was made for apple pie. I have never made a pie from scratch before. They say not to try out a new recipe when you are hosting guests, but I knew that even if the pie crust was awful, we’d just eat the filling with some ice cream. If you can’t try out your recipes on those you love, who can you try them out on, am I right?
I used this recipe for the filling and the crust. It was AMAZING!!!! I have made this twice since Thanksgiving and it turns out great every time.
My top-crust lattice skills could use some improvement, but that will come in time. Send your tips and tricks my way 😉
We had such a great meal and time together. We had not seen Jeanne and Marian since our drive home from our trip to the Police Memorabilia Collectors’ show in California in January 2020, our last vacation before Covid was a household name. It was so nice to spend time with them and show them around our pride and joy, the property! Unfortunately, we’d had some rain in the days prior to their visit, so we couldn’t take them back into the back pasture. It was just too muddy and we would have gotten stuck in the Polaris.
The day flew by too quickly, and it was soon dark and time for them to head back to their hotel. Driving in our area in the dark has its own set of risks. The roads are not well lit and wild hogs and deer run all over. We really try not to drive after dark, so we wanted to make sure they made it to their hotel safely. We met again for breakfast the next morning with promises to see each other again soon. We really enjoyed their visit, and hope that next time they are able to stay a little longer so we can show them some of our favorite places!
Great to see Jeanne & Marion again.
They have shared all your life adventures. How nice you could share your new home and cooking with them.
PS Your apple pie looks delish!