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Autumn has fallen

October 3, 2010

I have always been a sucker for plays on words. 🙂 But seriously. It is October already. What happened? We turned the heat on today. Where is that gloriously long, perfect, Hudson Valley autumn I was so looking forward to? The trees are just barely starting to turn, and it’s already getting down into the low 40s at night. What gives?

Oh well. I can forgive 40 degree evening weather because that means it’s time to pull out the down comforters. And I can forgive 40 degree nights for 65 degree breezy, peerlessly blue skies and sunshine. And I can forgive 40 degree nights because that means there are apples about and squash and cabbage and soon kale and collards and parsnips will actually be in season and sweeter (well, when we get the first frost, anyway). It’s soup weather. And bread baking weather. And cake and cookie and pie baking – and eating – weather.

My family is coming to visit in a few days. And it’ll be the first time my parents have been to NY state (my little sister came out last fall). It’ll also be the first time I’ve seen them in nearly a year, and only the third time the boyfriend has met them. And they’re staying for a week. So clearly, the house needs to be cleaned. Our guest bedroom and “craft” room-turned-little-sister’s-guest-bedroom upstairs had to be cleaned and beds and bedding put together. Because that was mainly where we stashed everything that didn’t yet have a place as we moved in and settled in. It’s also the big empty room where I’m putting together panels for an exhibit that is long overdue and they are being ridiculously difficult. Oh, did I mention that our guest bed frame broke as we tried to put it together tonight? Well, the frame itself didn’t break (well it did, but the boy’s dad welded it back together), but a crucial screw snapped. *sigh* Did I mention I have a 6-8 page paper due on the night that my parents’ flight gets in?

So, needless to say, I needed a break. But I can’t seem to just sit and be unproductive these days, especially when watching TV. So today, during the course of a movie (half of The Long Walk Home – really good actually, and the latter half of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington), I took after my cousin’s facebook advice and peeled apples in front of the TV. I sat at our kitchen table (which is in the living room) with a big bowl for peels and my 11 quart stockpot for apple slices. I think I must have done about a dozen big Opalescent apples. The stockpot was 3/4 of the way full by the time I was done (though it cooked down to a half pot – about five quarts). And my giant bowl was half full of peels, and my hands hurt. And my butt hurt from sitting for two hours on a wooden chair. But it felt good. I felt like I had actually accomplished something while still relaxing somewhat.

The more I work and the older I get, the more I realize how gratifying it is to create things with your hands, especially when, as a grad student and museum professional, I work so much in the mind. It’s nice to not think or stress or worry or problem-solve or do logistical puzzles.

The applesauce is really good, by the way. Opalescents are very flavorful apples, though not juicy (I had to add some water to avoid burning, even on low heat) and with some sugar and a little pumpkin pie spice, they are lovely.

Okay, to sum it all up: yay autumn, boo cold weather but yay cold weather accessories, yay family, boo cleaning, yay creating, boo school.

And now? Yay bed!

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