Sunday dawned clear and cold. A glance at the propane heater in the living room told me that it was 46 degrees inside the house, and the thermometer outside was just at the freezing point of 32. I fed the cats, turned on the heater, and took my coffee back to bed, where the cats eventually joined me. Really, is there anything cozier looking than a sleeping cat? Especially with a paw over the eyes to shield them from the early morning light.
Being the first day of the time change, it was actually light-ish out when I got up at 6:30. It’s been nice dispensing with high beams on the way to work, and being able to exchange waves with Megan when our cars pass each other in the morning, she on her way home and me on my way to work. Today was a particularly lovely morning, with the pink sky glowing through waving plumes of pampas grass and a couple of whales playing in the slate blue ocean.
I still wish they would just pick a time and go with it, though. I don’t care which one it is. I just don’t want to have to change back and forth twice a year.
Eventually I did grudgingly get out of bed on Sunday to join my siblings in cider making prep at Rio’s compound. It took much less time than it did last year, despite having fewer helpers. We hardly had any apples this year, and what we had would not have won any beauty contests. An informal survey of fellow coastal residents revealed that this was the common experience this year: no apples at all in many cases, or just a few. It seems that the deluge of rain we got last year knocked off many of the blossoms.
Since it was a chilly morning, we moved the prep inside Rio’s house, where a fire was merrily burning. While there were not as many apples to chop, I did spend quite a lot of time chopping off rotten bits, which I did not have to do last year. Sometimes what appeared to just be a bad spot was revealed to be an entire bad neighborhood, but I salvaged whatever I could since the apples were in such short supply.
While I emptied the rejected apples and excised bits into the compost, swept up the leaves and other debris that fell to the floor, and washed the bowls that held the cut up apples, the others started milling the cider through the hand-cranked old press. We ended up with a scant 10 gallons, as opposed to last year’s 30. There’s always next year.
A YEAR AGO: A fun and scary Halloween.
FIVE YEARS AGO: Sigh.