LAKE MACBRIDE— The sky was a dome of stars as the newspaper delivery truck made its way down the street. Outside to take the trash and recycling bins to the street for pickup, it was hard not to stop and gaze into the limitless space above. My clothing fit loosely from working low wage jobs this year, and the cool air found its way under the cotton knit and invigorated me, awakening possibilities. It lasted only a few moments, after which I grabbed an apple and ate it in Eve’s bower— forbidden fruit no more. The stuff of dreams and hope.
The remaining apples fall into five categories. A bowl of Cortland for apple crisp later today, a bushel of apples collected after the Sept. 19 storm blew them from the tree for apple sauce, a bin of the best apples for out of hand eating, and another bin of less perfect apples from the final pick, for a variety of purposes. A lot of the lesser Golden Delicious apples on the tree. They are available, but one suspects they will end up food for wild animals and insects, or as compost. The end of this year’s apple season is in view.
The plan for today is more chainsaw work in the yard. At least two more eight hour shifts will be required to finish cleaning up the fallen branches. A contractor is stopping by to estimate the roof repair from the Sept. 19 storm. The plan is to harvest the turnip greens and make soup stock, and finish gleaning the first garden patch, maybe the second. All of this is subsistence work, unpaid except that there is a buyer for the firewood I make, and food for our table.
As dawn begins to break, it’s time to leave the comforting glow of the computer screen and get to work. Just a few more keystrokes, and then off into the garden, seeking life, and redemption.