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Posts Tagged ‘seasons’

Where I live in Michigan, winter weather gets to be a little overdrawn.  Winter seems like it is never going to end.  My way of coping is to dive into seed catalogs and gardening magazines.  It is like feasting on dessert after you have been on a starvation diet.  All of those plants with their lovely greenery and colorful blooms just lights up the soul and lifts the spirit.  Not only that, but when you are trying to buy fresh produce you quickly realize the high cost of fresh fruits and vegetables during the winter.  Cold frame gardening can help relieve the burden on your wallet if you build a couple of frames to supplement your produce needs.
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     Today has been one of those lazy, do nothing and enjoy it kind of days.  Those are few and far between…but, so very necessary for the soul to rest and build up strength to do what must be done every other day of the week. 

      It has been cold and wet.  We woke up this morning to a growing blanket of fluffy white snow…the first of the season, to lightly coat the ground.  Of course, it did not stay there because the ground is not frozen yet…so, the warmth of the earth melted the brilliant, white snow early in the day.  This is just a mini preview of what is to come in the next few weeks.

       The snow brought joy to my child’s face…and, a look of acceptance to mine 🙂  Now is the time to contemplate making a nice homemade, chunky sort of comfort meal…like maybe a hot, hearty chicken noodle soup with homemade dumplings…or maybe a rich, smooth, smoky pea soup, or possibly a filling fall harvest kind of soup with some happy orange carrots, and some limey green cabbage surrounding floating chunks of the all american staple of potatoes in a nice rich broth of ham pieces or some pieces of bacon. However, this is work…and, cannot stand alone.  One must complement the meal with some fresh- from- the- oven homemade doughy, buttery rolls.  This is the treat that we offer ourselves when the reality of 6 months of cold, wet, dark and dreary winter comes sneaking upon us.  Oh, if that sounds ominous…then you will have to come back on another day when the snow is cherished and given glory…just not today when i have to grow to appreciate it’s beauty.

       Golly, you will just have to check back in a few weeks, when i paint the picture of a cheery morning; when the snow crystals sparkle in the sunlight and underscore the weight of the evergreen branches that bow under the weight of the heavy flakes of snow that have fallen overnight, much to our surprise.  Then you will see that the human spirit is flexible and has the wisdom to recognize all of the gifts in life. 

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        I find things that are the most interesting to me, are often things that are going on right around me; figuratively, in my own backyard.  That is why, when i read an article today about a man who lived less than an hour away from me; and actually at one time in my life, lived less than 10 minutes from my childhood home…i took a major interest in the story of his life and his death.  He was an inspiration to watch and learn from.

         This man’s name was Lewis (Luke) Arends.  He lived in Sparta, Michigan.  You might find by reading this post that you may share a connection with him as well.  Luke was 91 years old when he died on Monday.  But, what i found is that he was the man who “discovered” the Paula Red apple, that many of us know and love.  Paula Reds have a sweet/tart tingle on your tongue and when you taste them, they almost remind you of a ripe strawberry.  When mixed with a couple of other variety of apples…they make a wonderfully, tangy applesauce to feed to your family.  The texture is smooth and cool.  The skins remind me of the old saying, red apple cheeks. 

         It seems that Mr. Arends was an apple grower in the 1950’s.  One day, he noticed an apple tree that was a little bit different than the rest.  He continued to watch this tree grow and eventually, produce apples in time.  He learned that this apple tree was different, in the fact that the apples began to ripen much earlier, in August, than the other apples that he had growing in his orchard.  This new variety of apple tree was good and he decided to name it after his wife, who’s name was Pauline.  The tree is still standing there…a natural tribute to the man; and to the fruit growers who were wise enough to recognize a gift from above.  The tree provided early income needed to bridge the gap from one season to the next…helping fruit producers to ride out the ups and downs that naturally occur due to mother nature’s temperment year- to- year.

         This is when the apple called Paula Red was born.  So, through patenting and propagating the species…everyone gets to enjoy a good tasting, early ripening apple before the first bite of autumn makes it’s presence known.  Thank you Mr. Arends for paying attention to the gift growing in your own backyard.  God bless!

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