Annette’s orchard — seasonal charm

orchard dinner

In the Christmastime series, Lillian Hapsey visits her sister, Annette, in upstate New York, close to where they grew up. Annette and her family live on an orchard, which provides Lillian a welcome change from the bustle of Manhattan. Though Lillian only visits once or twice a year, the orchard offers her a wider scope of seasonal beauty and an opportunity to be with family.

Lillian and her boys, Tommy and Gabriel, have fond memories of spending Thanksgiving and Christmas at Annette’s. Depending on the weather, they take hikes through the woods, sometimes taking the logging roads. The boys and their cousins explore the woods and run wild through the orchard, and with the help of their Uncle Bernie, they gather firewood to make bonfires at night, sometimes roasting marshmallows. If there is snow, they go sledding and take sleigh rides.

When the sisters are together, they take long walks along the country roads, gathering bunches of bittersweet and pine cones. At night, they fix a cup of tea and stay up late talking in front of a crackling fire.

One of the things Lillian most looks forward to is preparing wonderful meals with Annette. Part of their tradition is to make dishes that their mother used to make when they were girls.

To the delight of the children, they also make special seasonal treats — apple cider donuts and caramel apples, holiday cookies, and snow ice cream.

And every time Lillian visits, Annette packs a basket for her to take back home with her, full of wholesome goodness from the orchard: honey and beeswax candles, maple syrup and jars of apple butter, bottled pears, jellies and jams — and apples.

When Lillian returns home to Manhattan, she often adds Annette’s orchard gifts to her breakfast and dinner table — besides being a tasty addition, they serve as a reminder of their days up at the orchard.

Annette’s orchard is a haven for Lillian and her boys — a cozy, welcoming place, full of good food and adventures. For Lillian, it gives her a sense of stepping back into her beloved girlhood days, and is a lovely way for her to enjoy the seasons.

(Photos from Pinterest. You can visit my book boards at:

2 thoughts on “Annette’s orchard — seasonal charm

  1. Hi Linda, I am so glad that you posted all of these beautiful pictures and captions… I finished reading CHRISTMASTIME 1939 a few days ago and have been meaning to comment on what a wonderful book it is! Decorating for Thanksgiving and taking care of my husband who is recouperating from surgery has kept me pretty busy this past week. CHRISTMASTIME 1939 is the perfect beginning to your LOVELY Christmastime series! I will begin reading CHRISTMASTIME 1940 tonite. The whole series will last through the holidays and I am looking forward to it very much!! I am looking forward to CHRISTMASTIME 1945 next year!!! After that….I will be mourning for the end of a VERY HEARTWARMING SERIES!!!…..that is….unless you will continue the stories of Lillian, Annette, Izzy, and Ursula, who’s lives I would love to follow! I don’t mean to sound like Kathy Bates in the movie MISERY (ha),….but I just hate to see this series end!! I hope that you have a very Happy Thanksgiving!!! Kathie


  2. Hi Kathie – I LOVE having you as a fan. I wish you would post exactly what you wrote on Amazon and Goodreads! The images mean more after you’ve read the book so it sounds like the timing was perfect for you to read my blog. To be honest, the thought of finishing the series makes me sad too. I’ll close it with Christmastime 1945, but who knows, I might add individual short stories or something like that. Thank you so much for all your support and enthusiasm.


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