Thursday, November 07, 2013

the high road

We almost didn't go. Sure, the sun eventually broke through the clouds -- not forcefully, but daintily, enough to add that layer of gold that you love so much toward the end of fall.

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But it was cold. And when you sit all morning long at a table piled high with texts, you get even colder. Your internal heat generating mechanisms doze off. Or something.

So in the afternoon, when I remind Ed that we had talked of biking over to Eplegaarden -- our local orchard with a Norwegian twist -- so as to stock up on honeycrisp apples, he hesitates.
Not for long. Okay, let's go, he says.
But then I hesitate. Maybe we should work on the raspberry plot? No cold bike ride involved in that...
No, let's go. 
Sure? No not sure.

Finally we put on warm jackets and gloves and pretend that it is really much warmer than the 38 degrees we see registered on the thermometer.

One goal is to pedal hard. None of this sissy stuff. Give the lungs a workout. Of course, that means that on the inclines, Ed soars ahead of me. And so it happens that he pushes forward and crosses a road and waits, and in the meanwhile, I turn up a road, thinking surely that this is correct and that he will soon backtrack and follow me.

But he doesn't backtrack. Not noticing my turn, he looks back and not seeing me, concludes that something must have happened. And so he pedals toward home. 

If ever there is an example of why we should all carry cell phones -- this is it! He's biking home, I realize what happened and chase him, shouting, shouting, but the wind is against me.

Many miles later he pauses and borrows someone's phone to call me and we reconnect. But what was to be a 15 mile roundtrip ride turns out to be almost twice that.

And still, I have no regrets. Once we turn away from the main roads, every inch of landscape is beautiful.

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As we pause to watch a herd of cows...

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...they spot us and come over hoping for ... what, food? love?

One could speculate. But we don't. We bike onwards and upwards and we find Eplegaarden and our beloved honeycrisp apples and we walk the orchard and pat a horse and admire a pair of goats and taste a grape or two left over from the autumn harvest...

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The ride home is even colder, but we stop halfway, at the local community center where they are hosting the Thursday farmers market. Indoors. We buy a lot of vegetables.

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And quirky other things. Who knew, for example, that we had amongst us at the Fitchburg winter market a Greek guy selling olive oil from his family's grove near Sparta.

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It is very much evening when we turn our bikes into our driveway. Dinnertime. Ed suggests I make fish stew. We bought the veggies for it -- onions, garlic, potatoes, carrots, broccoli. And I have a chunk of frozen salmon.

Oh, how good it is to be at the farmhouse, eating fish stew on this cold November evening! Let me not ever say an unkind word about this month again.

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