As we kids grew older, we dispersed, and eventually four of the five of us who are surviving settled in Washington or Oregon, as have most of our own children.
As my generation began producing our flock of offspring, back on the farm Dad and Mom began the tradition of an annual October cider fest, and we gathered on the farm on an autumn weekend for working and playing and eating and visiting. Our kids, who were little then and are now in their 40's or more, remember those days.
Those kids grew up, Mom and Dad moved off the farm, and the tradition faded away. Then in 1996 my brother Hank resettled in Chehalis, Washington, and renewed the tradition of the family cider bee, or apple squeeze, or cider fest. Our grand children were little, or not even born yet, and have also grown up with the tradition. The kids of long ago are now the grandparents, our kids are now the parents, and their kids are all growing taller that all the rest of us. The family cider bee is alive and well.
Hank purchases the apples from Central Washington.
Strong backs tote the buckets of apples to the crew.
At the first station, the apples are rinsed and quartered.
The crew changes here, as various combinations rotate through. Conversation and silliness happen here.
The quartered apples go to the cider press where they are crushed and squeezed. Mostly the big guys work here.
Our temporary member of the family, a foreign exchange student from Kazakhstan, is enjoying new experiences.
The juice goes to the bottling station. Our hosts, Hank and Cindy, are our quality control.
The pulp gets hauled away and dumped.
Many hands make light work, as the apples disappear.
Some of us do more supervising than working.
Drinking coffee and eating donuts is also important.
So is catching up on the how to of our family communication technology.
Or just visiting and bonding.
These guys :-)
Then Arnold grilled.
And we all ate! And talked some more.
My sister Ilene and my niece Katie have posted photos of our cider bee on Facebook. A few of these photos are borrowed from them. Between the three of us I think we got it all covered.
And now it is recorded for history. Another Norquist Family Cider Bee is in the books. Thanks to all, and especially to our hosts, Hank and Cindy.