This time last year, while I was pregnant with Reuben, I had a dream. My dream involved sitting on my porch with my kids. I imagined that once the baby was born, Leila would happily play on the porch, and I would spend endless hours nursing on the flowered swing. I also pictured my growing baby giggling in a Bumbo seat, or swinging contentedly in his baby swing. It has taken nearly 5 months (today’s is actually Reuben’s 5 month birthday!) for this dream to become a reality, but it is with great gobs of gladness that we have spent many a spare moment lingering on the porch lately. Early last week “Indian Summer” rolled in, becoming the largest variable that made these idyllic moments possible. We re-opened the windows to catch the warm breezes, and we smiled. It was nice to have gotten beyond September’s busy-ness and found the porch to be such a hospitable place to rest our weary bodies.
The other thing that our slightly relaxed schedule recently allowed us to do is go apple picking. While JP and I are very much lacking in the traditions realm of our life, one tradition that we have carefully cultivated in our seven years of marriage has been apple picking. Each year we make our way to our local west-Michigan apple orchard, usually with a few friends in tow, and fill our bags to the brim. It is a very favorite activity of ours- and a very yummy one too! This year we brought our friend Kristen, and she brought her camera. Not only did we manage to pick nearly 30 pounds of apples with a nearly three year old and an infant, but we squeezed in a family photo session too. I’m pleased to report that none of us had a coronary in the process, and we largely enjoyed the glorious Fall day. (And, if I know my JP, he’ll show you those pictures just as soon as we get our hands on them!!) I’ll just show you the pie that I made!
Not having planted a garden this year, I have lived into our Farmer’s Market with a grateful heart. Nothing seems to taste better to me than fresh, local food. We ate our way through the strawberries, the peas and the lettuces. There was great rejoicing when the corn came, and we gobbled up the cherries. We ate about a bushel of blueberries, and whole armfuls of cucumbers and peppers… not to mention those little German butter ball potatoes. We lugged home a watermelon. I breathed deeply of the intoxicating smell of dill on my green onions. And, we even tasted some tomatoes recently, something I developed an aversion to during Reuben’s pregnancy. Now, we’re moving on to the cauliflower, the winter squash, and some pumpkins. I’ve cherished my moments with Leila at the Market this year. She may have only gone so she could sample her little cup of Kettle Corn, and to buy her single stem flower-of-the-week, but I am grateful for my little companion, ogling the fruits and vegetables and then toting them home with me. I made Leila wait from May until late August for the pears that she kept asking for. It wasn’t easy for her, but I keep trying to explain that ‘good things come to those who wait.’ In this case, good things meant good flavors.
Just as our Farmer’s Market season comes to a close here in Michigan, we’ll head to India. There we’ll have a new, gorgeous abundance of local and varied produce. You can hopefully look forward to some posts of colorful, ripe produce in the midst of your bleak mid-winter. Not to make you jealous, of course, but to remind you of the good things that come to those who wait.