Saturday, 17 October 2009

It's apple picking time

Today was Fall in the apple orchard.

We packed up 3 families (or parts thereof) and headed off to Wagners. After the obligatory stop at Tim Hortons on the way, we arrived at the fall's best secret. Grabbing a couple of bags and a ride out on the tractor, the harvest awaited our brood. Between the 3 families, mine, my brother and his wife, and my sister and her daughter, we brought out enough bags for 60 pounds of apples.

As soon as the tractor departed we headed into the trees, literally. The best apples are always up top where they're harder to reach, so we scampered up, careful not to damage the trees. My daughter didn't even wait until the tractor was away - within minutes of stepping off the trailer she was climbing. They frown on us climbing the trees. Alot. Last year we got read the riot act. This year we were more careful.

About 10 minutes down the orchard I found a ladder and trodded back to the crowd, already firmly entrenched in a treetop. My brother, who I have not seen climb a tree since we were kids, got stuck heading for the best. He's a chef, he knows food. He knows what the best looks like and would accept nothing else. He quite welcomed the ladder. I of course, climbed the trees.

In about a half hour our bags were full. But we weren't done. There were more apples. We started loading up pockets and hoods. When those were full we looked for another solution. My son sacrificed his coat for the sake of the apples. We loaded his coat up and headed off to the 'taxi stand'. We would have kept going if we had more bags. When we got back to the shop we had to get another bag. When all was said and done we had over 70 pounds of apples. Those bags were overflowing and there were still apples in people's pockets.

The kids played on the tire swing, while we examined the other offerings of this place. They also have a wine store and bakery. After picking up some strudel for the neighbour we headed home with our haul. We'll be eating apples for months. Kim started with carmelized apple slices over french toast tonight for dinner. She will make homemade apple sauce and pies, apple betty and apple butter. Lots. I can see an apple cassarole in the future.

A nice day to spend with the family. With all the crap going on these days it was what we all needed. A day to remind us what's important.


Monday, 12 October 2009


Today is Thanksgiving here in the great white north. Makes me think about things I'm thankful for, besides turkey.

For starters, my family. My wonderful children and my wife who is my best friend and confidant. I couldn't imagine life without any of them.

My extended family, who's help in getting through the past months has been invaluable.

My friends, who keep me grounded and laughing, even if I don't see them as often as I should.

My cat. He keeps me amused.

My health, such as it is, I'm showing my age, more aches and pains in the morning, not as energetic as I once was, but I'm not keeping a room at the local clinic. I guess that's good enough.

My talents. They keep me employed and entertained. Nuf' said.

My parents. Even though they aren't here with me anymore, they're here in spirit. They provided me the inspiration to become the person I am, and taught me how to make it in life in their unique way. As strict as my father was he firmly believed in letting someone make mistakes in order to learn consequence. I took him up on that on more than one occasion. He provided me with a childhood of exploration and eager learning. I fell down, he told me to get back up. It worked.

My home. A place of refuge and a place to call mine. A place to put my stuff. It's really that simple, but in my heart it's so much more. It's a place I can get away from the troubles of the world and get lost in my own endeavours. A place I can be me with nobody telling me otherwise.

This is a simple list, and more than likely identical to most other people's. But I'm not a very complicated person, I'm not putting sports cars and harleys on here, even if I had one. Those material things are not what makes a person, they're what makes a person owe more. Toys. They don't matter half as much as what's in a person's heart. So what if this list reveals nothing about me as a person, they do reveal one thing - I know what' important, and what to be thankful for on such a day.