Monday, December 11, 2006

The season changes

Eleven days ago at this hour it was 63 degrees here in Southern Michigan. I got on my shorts, went outside, and picked broccoli. The plants are hearty, and they'd made it through the early frosts. The side shoots may not be much at the end of November, but... it's broccoli at the end of November. Even the few ounces that I picked were miraculous to me.

I picked broccoli again yesterday. Pulling off two layers of covering to do it, and putting it right back on when completed. The plants are wilting now, but holding on. May be the last time, but who knows?

Today... first day of ski school for Aaron, with dad as a parent supervisor. Which means helping kids with wickets, and flashback memories of every field trip bus ride I ever took, just with a different perspective. These kids were so much more polite than I ever remember my peers being. The worst behavior was probably the young boys who got a tactile sensation out of touching the wickets, and then wanted to smell them. Whatever.

The sensation of being on skis again, and being wobbly. Hills in lower Michigan are small, there's nothing here that would be more than a bunny hill at a major resort out west. But with 18 runs it's not bad as exercise. Ruined by the Mt. Brighton hamburger, I'm sure.

Tonight we're making one last batch of apple cider. Big year, more than 48 gallons. We lasted in to December for the first time in several years. It's hard to press with the temperature pushing freezing, and with the fruit getting older the juice gets thicker... and there's less of it. It's one last reminder of what was.

And then, winter. Long, cold winter.

Just 3 more months until the chives start popping up.
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