Monday, September 14, 2015

On My Mind Monday

There's no burning up the layered memory trace of smell and taste.

~Sally Mann
Hold Still

Apples first remind me of my Grandma Rose because she introduced me to apple crisp.  I remember sitting at her kitchen table with a cafe au lait.  We weren't so sophisticated with Starbuck's speak back then, but that is what it was: coffee with a generous glug of milk.  I was all of 8 or 9 and already well aware that the kitchen was the heart of the home, or where the magic happened. Rosie would empty the oven, which she used as a breadbox when it wasn't in use, and slide in that jelly roll pan of sugared apple goodness.  In 20 minutes, she'd give me the first bowl.  In 25 minutes, she'd pop me a few papaya pills: her remedy for over indulgence. It's a warm and cozy memory that has persisted while others have perished over the years.

Apples remind me of Thanksgiving too.  Every year my Mom would buy the poster child of apple pies baked in a brown paper bag from the Elegant Farmer.  It was special and we loved it even if usually not until breakfast the day after the feast.  Now the pies are everywhere, but I don't mind because when I see them, I think of my Mom.  If she were here she'd be all, "I discovered those pies you know."

Apples also remind me of fall in Door County.  Not one particular visit, but just being on the bright peninsula with a chill in the air.  The orchards line the highways and the roadside stands sell apple everything.  My favorite season is fall and my favorite place to visit before winter descends is Door County.  Mike and I have been there many times and in every season, but there is something so bucolic and storied about that place at that time of year.  It is quintessential charm and comfort.

Last year Lily, Jess and I picked apples on a beautiful fall day that happened to mark the sixth anniversary of my mom's death.  It was a beautiful day that was more sweet than bitter.  The apple haul we made lasted us through the new year.  The memories, they still linger.

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