The kids and I spent Sunday afternoon picking apples from our four trees. It’s one of those years where, with little effort, there’s a decent crop to be had. Despite the fact that I half-heartedly pruned and sprayed them this spring and they went long spells without a lot of moisture this summer, they managed to yield two boxes worth of Golden Delicious goodness. We pick them kind of green before the deer and birds get to them, letting them ripen indoors.
Apples are one of those crops that alternate pretty regularly between decent and not so great. Last year, the trees were barren; twelve months later they’re making up for lost time. I guess I don’t mind that ebb and flow because it’s expected. After more than three and half decades on this planet, it’s a phenomenon prevalent in all aspects of life I should be pretty familiar with.
I’m glad that my kids, at first, are eager to help with the picking but, due to past experience, I should know to expect they’ll lose interest after five minutes. Don’t switch out your wardrobe at the first hint of sweater weather because fall always does a summer flashback (I’m looking at you Tuesday, October 1 and 85-plus degrees!). Any day now I’ll start grumbling about the string of rain showers, easily forgetting about the billowing road dust that engulfed our house just days earlier. What’s the deal with darkness setting in at 7:15 at night? Just a month ago, I was dragging my kids into the house for bath time and all the “you have school tomorrow” tasks when daylight was still abundant. Now it’s the “hurry and play outside before dinner” season. Early darkness means time to read more books before bed. Now I remember–the gardener in me hates being forced indoors early but my child-wrangling side is grateful for at least that change in the seasons.
Here, at this desk, there’s comfort in knowing what will ebb and flow in terms of seasonal news too. We’ve transitioned from summer festivals and road projects to craft shows and high school homecomings. School’s back in session and teachers and students are eager to share about the projects they’re tackling. Everyone’s in a rush to finish paving and building projects before the snow flies and then we turn our attention to the holidays.
What makes this job really interesting is the variety and unpredictability of news but, to balance all that uncertainty out, I take comfort in the familiar stuff that’s bound to cross our desk too—fall foliage pictures, canned food drives, harvest reports and cute kids in costumes.
While I’m relishing the arrival of fall, someone in my household is already talking about what kind of cookies to make for Santa.
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