A photograph has the power to evoke memories in a way that few other things do.

Last week we found a photo taken in December 1979 in front of the orchard barn. It was the year we bought the farm. The sign on the doors say Goodale Orchards. It wasn’t until another ten years that we officially changed the name to Russell Orchards.

It is a December day, I’m certain because there is a wreath a door. Max is standing in front with an old tractor and a pick-up truck. Studying the picture, I’m transported back to those early years. It was an exciting and scary time for us. In June we had left behind our comfortable suburban life in Andover and moved with children and animals to Ipswich. Our farming lives began.

That December the store was open every day. All of the apples were bagged for sale. The store itself was the ell that we now call the wine tasting room. There was no heat, each day I shivered while I bagged a couple dozen five and ten pound bags of apples and arranged them on the shelves along with jugs of cider. I left a basket with $25. in change on the counter. Business was too sparse to actually spend the day in the store, customers came in, helped themselves and left their payment in the basket. Periodically I’d come from the house to retrieve it.

Barn

The back of the barn. The cider mill was added here in 1982.

The back of the barn. The cider mill was added here in 1982.

The gas pump still stands but nothing else remains the same.

The gas pump still stands but nothing else remains the same.