September 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

Yesterday I went for the most wonderful drive. Morning, and straight east into red-orange hills. Classical music on the radio, golden retriever in the backseat, a jar of steaming coffee in the cup holder. I was going out to Brett Laidlaw’s place, Bide-A-Wee, to borrow a cider press for our upcoming festival. Brett had come to our brick oven workshop in August, and also happens to be the author of Trout Caviar – both a blog and a book about foraging in the north woods. His two griffins came to greet me; Tassie hesitated and even growled a little at these unfamiliar dogs, but eventually she got over herself enough to run around the acreage and explore their space. They followed her with interest and a bit of determination to retain their territorial rights.

The air was September crisp and the hills were so burning with color that you could almost smell smoke. This is the time for woodstoves and campfires. Brett met me with a smile, we caught up on ovens and farms and projects and festivals, and then he showed me the pieces of the press, how to put it all together, how the apples will grind and press into cold, delicious cider. Bright sun, plaid shirts, vests, boots, cast iron, goosebumps. I shivered in the cold but also the very delicious autumn of it all.

Once we had loaded the press into the back of my truck, we talked about France, which always makes me glad, especially to find someone else who loves it the way I do, and not for all the popular things people love it for (ooh la la!) but also for the countryside, the small gîtes and the regional ciders and the roads winding through woods and hills that look so similar to here. Then back in the truck, me and my girl, to make our way home, my mind full of old memories and future plans, and a sense of the season’s reliable goodness.


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