One thing I’ve learned over my sketching journey is that not everyone likes cider, but most can agree that apples are rather nice. So I doodlewashed both and you can take your pick as to which you prefer. I personally like the cloudy non-alcoholic cider that is made locally, but I don’t actually care for the alcoholic variety or regular apple juice. These days, I really do just want the whole apple. But as a kid, I loved apple juice and, of course, the less boozy version of cider during the autumn season. I insisted that we get some of the cider that I enjoyed in my youth a couple of years ago while Philippe and I were at the grocery. When we got home, we each had a glass, thought it was okay, but nothing noteworthy, and then forgot about it entirely. The remainder fermented and we eventually had to just pour it out. But the appearance of those cider jugs at the grocery this time of year still makes me smile. A host of childhood memories come flooding back to me. Sometimes in life, the memory that something evokes is far better than the actual thing itself.
I remember apples in my school sack lunches, and the barbaric act of bobbing for them in a barrel as a kid, but that’s all of the memories apples bring back to me. Cider, on the other hand, conjures much grander memories. Most notable is that we would have some when we went to a place called Missouri Town, a 30-acre outdoor history museum with actual houses built between 1820-1860. Volunteers would dress in the costumes of the time and, during the autumn season, pass out cups of hot apple cider from a large kettle. It was like being transported to another time and so the cider was almost magical. They created it in precisely the same fashion as it was done at that time and with no preservatives or other modern inventions to get in the way, and it was blissfully perfect. I actually went back there with Philippe around this time of year and he was able to try a cup. It was just as wonderful as I remembered, but I couldn’t tell if he was impressed or not. He spent most of the time marveling at how “new” everything was, since he grew up in Paris and things from the 1800’s are simply considered a nice antique, but not actually something one would deem as significant history.
And so I was able to marvel at both my own memories of youth and the memories of my young country. A country that wasn’t even in existence at the time many of the buildings Philippe passed by as a child were erected. Perhaps my feelings of being a kid at heart come directly from living in a place that is still quite young as countries go. While other nations are wise great grandfathers, my own is really nothing more than a rambunctious teenager, still trying to figure it all out. Yet, it’s a strangely exciting country for that very reason. So much happens here, both good and bad, from that rebellious spirit that caused it to form in the first place. And though my heritage extends to Ireland and much farther back than that, my known family tree is mostly planted in the United States. A young history by world standards, to be sure, with log cabin settlements so small that hot cider in a kettle was a significant and wonderful thing to behold. Life was only grand because of the family and friends that gathered round to celebrate it. So, in the end, met with all of these memories of the past, I’m not sure I could ever possibly choose between apples or cider.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Vermilion, and Indigo (my “Vintage” Trio!). Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
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Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!