A Mug Of Cider

When one thinks of cider the output of that thought often depends on where they are located. If in the United States, you might think of something non-alcoholic that’s a bit like a cloudy apple juice. If you’re nearly anywhere else, you’d be enjoying a sweet alcoholic beverage. That version in these parts is referred to as “hard cider,” and though the apples-only version is technically “soft cider” literally nobody calls it that. As for me, I enjoy both depending on my mood. But really, when it comes to alcohol, I’d much prefer to stick with a dry wine. Those hard ciders are a bit too sweet for my tastes. Actually, even though the alcoholic version is a bit sweeter, the apples chosen are called cider apples because they’re really not good for any other type of consumption. Unlike their more delectable cousins who are referred to as cookers and eaters, these apples were born into a world that has pre-decided they are only fit to be mashed into something boozy. But if we’re talking about a warm drink in cold weather, it’s probably fine any way you can get it!

My mind leaps to wild scenarios at this point. I’m thinking about apples as though they were little children, being told they are either cookers or eaters, or only meant for cider. It’s not terribly different from what we all faced as children. Being told that we should do this or that, or even told that we couldn’t do something at all because it wasn’t meant to be. Maybe we lacked a little of this or that in those qualities that people chose to attribute to success in doing that thing. Or maybe we simply wanted to do something amazing that didn’t fit into the mold of what the adults around us deemed as sensible. So much of the advice from our parents and others was given with the best of intentions. People were only trying to protect us, after all. And I, as a rebellious child, would mostly just shrug them off. I didn’t mind being loved, I just didn’t understand why anyone would want to protect me from possibilities neither of us could foresee. If they were right, nothing really changed, but if I was right, the world shifted slightly, and amazing things could happen.

I grew up then with a pretty simple belief in the end. I believe in the fact that nobody actually really knows the future. So, while we can enjoy all the advice we can get, we can’t let others tell us what to do next. Many times, we can’t even wait for ourselves to get permission. We just have to DO things. Too many times in life, people have felt they were “right’ about not doing something because nothing bad happened. The problem is, nothing new happened, so it’s essentially like nothing really occurred at all. You can’t be successful in doing nothing at all. Success is a term only applied to action. And yeah, the only downside is failure, but I’ve spent my life failing at this or that thing so it’s all rather old hat by now. Maybe in the end, I’m not quite mainstream like those other apples that had the opportunity to become a lovely pie. And I’ve never been happier. Sometimes you have to follow your true destiny no matter what people might say. If you DO, your happiness will be guaranteed, even if, in the end, you’re still just a mug of cider.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Da Vinci Yellow, Benzimida Orange, Red Rose Deep, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
#WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 27 - A Mug Of Cider - Doodlewash

Recommended6 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Sandra Strait 5 years ago

    We’ll have to start calling you Cider Charlie, lol! As usual, I love your painting, and I love the way your discussion takes me down unexpected paths and makes me reflect. The best kind of cider.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Thanks so much, Sandra! 😃💕 hehe… I like thinking of my rambles as sipping on cider!

  2. Carol Hartmann 5 years ago

    I enjoy a mug of cider in either form. Charlie, growing up I was taught that failure was a bad thing, but as I grew older I realized that failure meant that at least I tried, which was a great feeling! Status quo is fine, but reaching for dreams can’t be beat – like your awesome cider painting! 😘

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Aww… that’s so beautifully said, Carol!! 😃💕 Love it!! Exactly! Failure is the only real way to learn and fear is the only possible way to stop learning.

  3. Lisa 5 years ago

    Well done! Both the painting and the essay!

  4. Sharon Nolfi 5 years ago

    Inspiring words and beautiful painting of the cider.

  5. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 5 years ago

    I thought I was reading about cider but then I found I was in a discussion about the meaning of life. Well, that’s Doodlewash for you – brilliant and fun at the same time.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Aww thanks, Shari! 😃💕 That’s so a fabulous compliment! I feel like my words and my illustrations are one piece of art. And I really hope it does just that when it works well.

  6. Susan Cuss 5 years ago

    Your cider looks good, Charlie. As always, your post makes me think. Thanks!

  7. Mickey Baxter-Spade 5 years ago

    Well Charlie, you certainly have a way of drawing one into your conversations . . . and your painting. Very nice.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Aww that’s such a sweet things to say! Thanks, Mickey! 😃💕

  8. Brooke 5 years ago

    Lol, your painting of cider looks far better than the jug of cider sitting in my kitchen at the moment. 😛 I need to add cinnamon and such before it looks that good.

  9. Rebecca Tromel 5 years ago

    I grew up making cider with my grandparents, we used the windfalls, did not matter what shape they were it! Now I’m reminiscing about the days spent cutting cores out of apples and seeing that juice come dribbling out of the press.

    In the early days of our countries history, apple orchards were planted especially to make hard cider, one could not trust the drinking water back then. I am amused to think that our country and constitution were founded by many rather tipsy people, as they only drank beer and cider back in those days.

    Typhoid and Cholera were common killers and we only learned how to kill them by adding a small amount of bleach to the drinking water within the last century. Something to think about.

    I love how you paint glass!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Wow! What wonderful bits of info! I love it! Thanks, Rebecca!! 😃💕 Yeah, I can pretty much believe that this country was founded by tipsy people. It explains so much! hehe

  10. Sandra Gilbert 5 years ago

    I had to giggle. I see lines of little apples being told they were this or that and then being sent off to different areas to start their new life. Oddly enough a few of the little apples are being rebellious and running amuck. They must be artist apples. 😆

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      hehe! you could totally illustrate that story better than I, Sandra! 😃💕 They are totally artist apples!

  11. Jill Gustavis 5 years ago

    Oh yummy, I love hot spiced cider. For hard cider, my husband and I are big fans of Citizen Cider out of Burlington VT. They’re flagship cider, United Press, is more like a dry cider, with just a hint of fruit. It’s more refreshing than saccharine.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      hmmmm… sounds interesting! Now I want to try that!! hehe 😃💕

  12. Teri Casper 5 years ago

    Love how you paint glass and reflections.

  13. smzang 5 years ago

    Super article! and the painting is grand. (I love mulled sweet cider)

    I’m still celebrating your Mulled Wine…

    here is the poem it inspired https://smzang.wordpress.com/2017/10/29/shadows-at-twilight/

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Aww… thanks so much! And such wonderful poetry! I’m so thrilled you were inspired by my doodlewashes! 😃💕

  14. Gemmie Dodger 5 years ago

    I was engrossed at cider but actually pretty impressed with how meaningful this is! Thanks for sharing!

  15. paulloveking 4 years ago

    The mass market “hard” ciders are fairly sweet, but there is a huge variety available these days, including a lot of very dry cider. In order to maintain domestic harmony, I keep a “less dry” cider on the left hand tap, and the right side is “if you don’t like it dry don’t complain”. Potter’s Farmhouse is a favorite for that selection, dry, a little sour, with a funky earthy quality.

    Cider has matured, and like beer, there’s mass market product that sort of meets expectation, and then there’s a huge range of other stuff. With beer, craft product is usually hops, hops, and more hops. With cider, craft product goes drier, has botanicals and fruits, or distinctive apple flavors.

    Anyway, when people say “too sweet” my response is “challenge accepted”!

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