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The Gate

My in-laws have a vineyard. Yes, it’s a real vineyard. And yes, it’s pretty darn cool. They don’t make their own wine (yet). They do sell their grapes to winemakers in the area. Every year for eleven (??) years now, they have held a harvest party. Friends and family come to help harvest the grapes. It’s an early morning. The fog is usually thick in the valley, and the sun just rising at the start. My mother-in-law makes an amazing brunch for everyone, and there is some tasting of the wines from previous harvests. It’s such an amazing experience. My kids take part, and love it. They’ve seen the entire process from the planting of the vines, to harvest and crushing, and finally to opening the finished product.

There is a courtyard in front of my in-laws’ home, which has  a gate in the short wall leading out to the front drive. At the harvest party in 2006, the kids were saying goodbye to someone out on the drive. All three were standing at the gate with their backs to me. I happened to snap a photo. It’s one of my favorite photos of the three of them. Everyone loved it. We had it on mouse pads, calendars, our Christmas card that year, and so on. Taking a photo of the three of them at the gate has become a tradition.  When friends hear harvest is coming, they remind me to take the so-called “Gate Photo.” We can see year-to-year how much they’ve grown.

Do you have a photo tradition each year that shows your kiddos growing?

Here’s the original gate photo:

original gate picture  

Then in order (and I missed a year in there, which I could kick myself over)







And finally, this year’s photo:

Harvest 2014 Gate

Next year, I think they’re going to have to all stand sideways so they fit. I can’t believe two of them are taller than the gate itself. Sigh….where does it go?


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