Procurement of apples in celebration of explorers

So I have learned through many long years that you should never, ever go apple picking on Columbus Day weekend. However, timing (and knees) being what they are… once again we found the only good weekend day for apple picking to be today – one day after Grey’s birthday party on an 85 degree October day.

It was packed. The traffic jam to get up the road to the orchard was the first of many lines. However, we eventually worked our way to a point where we could hand over our money and wander to the remoter parts of the orchard. It was a lovely (if tiring) time. And yesterday was Grey’s birthday party! There was a large number of young folks wandering around, playing with legos and hitting each other with cardboard tubes. Then I fed them large amounts of sugar. It was fun.

This is all a lead in to say… I actually have pictures. I mean, this is only like 6 weeks worth of pictures on one of my two cameras. It includes: Hurricane Irene, walking in the Fells with Laureen, first day of Kindergarten, my “Last Ambulatory Weekend” party, Grey baking my birthday cake, Grey’s birthday party & apple picking.

Fall2011

Irene, good night

The storm has spent its fury up the Eastern seaboard – in no place being quite as severe or catastrophic as the wall to wall coverage suggested. I’m old enough now to be more than glad that is true. Even this diminished storm brought down ancient limbs of stately trees, flooded low lying areas and caused the deaths of more than a dozen people. For those homes, friends and families – Irene will be as huge a storm as could be imagined.

Here, it served mostly to confine us to our home for a weekend. We watched the water lash at the side of the house and the winds whip the trees into dancing contortions. Who knew ancient oaks could bend so? But still, somehow, the dishes are done, the laundry is done, the leftovers are in the ‘fridge and another week awaits.

We gathered with our neighbors – our friends – as the skies cleared and our children spun like overwound tops, whirling like cross dervishes around the center of the house.

Tomorrow it all begins again: the week with its prosaic tasks, meetings and needs. We’ll spend maybe 15 minutes discussing the storm, shaking our heads, all agreeing we were glad it wasn’t so bad. Then we’ll move on to milestones and deliverables, and never look back.

Good night, Irene. Good night, Irene. I’ll see you in my dreams.

Red sky at morning

I awoke briefly this morning at dawn and looked out the window. It was astonishingly red and rosy – like the most florid of Pacific sunsets.

Sailors take warning.

We’re battening down the hatches here. Of course so many New England storms are overhyped, and so few live up to even a portion of their media coverage. Whether Irene will fall in that category remains to be seen. But we’re ready. Our house is in the middle of a hill – protected from wind but far above standing water damage. Most of the trees around us have been taken down – I think there’s only one tall enough to hit us. I have 10 gallons of water in the basement. I have our camping lanterns. I have enough batteries to get us through the long winter. I have enough food to last a month (assuming that the gas doesn’t get cut). I have cash and two cars with full tanks of gas.

I also lost my wallet last night. So far I’m not seeing any activity on the cards, but talk about the worst possible time to misplace your wallet. I really believe that it’s lost somewhere in the house or at work. I had it Thursday night at 10:30 pm when I went grocery shopping. The only thing I did between that and when I missed it was go to work. But seriously, I’ve looked everywhere. I really hope it miraculously appears and I don’t have to call everyone I’ve ever met to cancel my cards.

ETA: I’m DELIGHTED to let you know that after about 12 hours of worrying, I found my wallet wedged under the driver’s seat of the car. Huzzah! Now I’m ready for a hurricane.

Today is a kind of weird day. There’s no storm or rain yet – it’s perfectly fine outside. The storm isn’t really supposed to start until late tonight or early tomorrow. But the state of emergency starts at noon. And what do we do today?

I reckon it’s a good day to get my shaggy dudes a haircut!