It is time for school to start. How do I know this? No, it is not the crazy moms shopping with their bored adolescents who languish while their dutiful parent buys schools supplies at Walmart or the packed parking lot at Millcreek Mall. Rather, it is the first aroma of grapes in the vineyards.
Last evening when I was walking the dog past the vineyard at the entrance to the high school, I smelled that delicious smell. Just a few yards from the entrance to the vineyard I saw the telltale signs of cross country runners. Every year, they steal a fist of grapes hoping to get that sweet aroma into their mouths. However, what they discover is that the grapes are not nearly ripe and they toss the offending sour grapes they still have in hand along the road. When school actually starts and the grapes start to ripen, there is not a clear stepping space on the front portico that serves as the gym entrance to the high school. I have always wondered why the kids spit out the purple hulls of the Concord grape on the concrete pad that leads into the school, because I love the whole grape.
School days were always hard in the fall because that sweet, intoxicating aroma filled the classrooms in the early fall afternoons, beckoning each one to come out and play amongst the trellises. How could a teacher get a good lesson taught with such an invitation pulling not only the child,but the teacher as well? This is such a special place because I do not have to go to Nappa Valley to enjoy the grape harvest. I just open the window or step out the door.
The warm days and crisp, football and soccer evenings make for a great fall harvest and start to every school year as the Grape Pickers don their maroon and gold colors to represent the school. Go Pickers!
It is also a time for celebration with the Community Fair and the Wine Festival, but those will be future blog posts.