Monday, October 4, 2010

the story of the apples.

The last 6 weeks have been so, so busy. It's always busy for us this time of year - with birthday season and back to school and my overtime. This year we added in Evans 5 day hospital stay and the wedding of some dear friends.

I tried to slow down once it was over. I really felt like I was doing nothing. I mean, I kind of was. You know, somewhere over the last 7 years - I've become a different person. I used to have no problems with being lazy. With letting the dishes wait, or with stopping everything to read a book. Somehow, sometime over the last several years that all changed and I'm always on the go. I'm often uneasy just sitting, or only doing one thing at a time.

So after doing nothing for a few days, I decided it was time to get stuff done, after all there was a lot to be done! Isn't there always so much to be done?!

We had to go apple picking. It had to happen that day, because I needed the next two days to process them (since it was our first weekend with nothing planned!) We went to our favorite orchard from last year, less than a mile from our house

their U-pick was closed this year! The mothers day snow had reduced their crop. Sure, I could buy a bag in the store, but we needed to pick them. That's how this was supposed to go.

Luckily, we live within 5 miles of at least 4 orchards. That's pretty much what our town has going for it. Apples. So we head on up to the big, fancy commerical one up the road. The Husband and I had actually been to that one earlier in the day taste testing at their distillery and winery.

We pull in, see the apples are 20 cents more per pound than our favorite place. Oh well, their trees are loaded with apples. This orchard is so large that the late snow didn't hurt them too badly.

Except, we have an hour and there is a line of about 30 kids that just got off a bus. We'll spend way too much time in line.

So, forget it, I say. We'll just go another day. Hmph. Only as we're driving back down the hill I get angry. And all anxious-y. But! But! We have to go today! I neeeeeed those apples today, because that's what I have planned for this weekend! I'm supposed to be canning apples! .

Apparently whenever it was over the last few years that I stopped being able to be lazy, I also became a little bit of a control freak.

So we stop at one of the orchards on the way back. It's a tiny orchard, on the side of the hill. They have two kinds of apples and most of those apples are not on the trees, I'm slipping on them on the ground. Still. We truck on. And manage to pick two bags of beautiful apples.

And then the next day it was 90 degrees. Ok, it makes no sense to can, since the day after will be in the 60's. But then, I didn't can the next day either. And then I was back at work.

And those apples sat, and sat, and sat for a week. The truth is, after all that, I couldn't stand the thought of canning those darn apples. I was still feeling lazy. Which of course worried me at first too. I can't be lazy forever. How long will I be unmotivated - just doing the minimum - dinner, laundry, work?! My house will fall apart! My apples will rot! My children will be traumatized if they buy lunch one more day!

And still, those apples sat. And they didn't rot. They sat waiting very patiently, for one whole week. They waited until I woke up on a very rainy, cold day. The kind of day that would have been perfect to go back to bed after the kids got on the bus. The kind of  day that would have been perfect to snuggle in bed all day and nap and catch up on last season of Dexter. Which is what I had planned to do, since I was convincing myself to just embrace the lazy.

But then I woke up wide awake, and all I wanted to do was can those apples! It was still a lazy, wonderful day. I canned all morning in my pajamas. Then I showered and got back into my pajamas. We pulled out leftovers for dinner, played board games for most of the evening. It was perfection.

I spent the weekend in a different sort of lazy. Not the unproductive lazy of the previous week, but the sort of slow, easy, enjoyable sort of lazy.

I canned. I cleaned. We hosted a wood-stacking party, and I cooked my butt off. But I didn't feel overwhelmed. I wasn't going crazy with everything that had to be done, or should be done or what wasn't done. I did what I could, and moved on with the day.

Those apples showed me that sometimes it's ok to wait. Clearly, my body and my mind were not done resting. Because those apples could wait - I could too. I could take the time to let go, and recharge. My days can not consist of just cooking and cleaning and family chores - especially if those things are dragging me down. Most of the time I really, honestly do enjoy doing those things- but if I've stopped enjoying them, then maybe it's time to stop for just a little while. Because my house didn't fall apart. My children are doing just fine.

And those apples didn't rot.


Alison Neufang said...

Awww... my apples waited two weeks for me to stop being lazy. Only one of them revolted. That's OK, I didn't need him anyway. Bad apple.

Betsy said...

Aw, what a good lesson. I hope you remember it, too, when you have your canned apples!

City Sister said...

I have canned 12 quarts of applesauce so far and about 2/3 of a bushel are going to have to wait a few more days. Apples are so patient and yummy.

HipHome said...

Love that first photo!!! We've been out to the orchard once already this year and made lots of applesauce, apple butter and pear butter. I hope to go back once more later this fall.
All the best from Kentucky~