Man... I'm tired. It's a good thing I'm open to the idea of some peel in my applesauce because my hands, wrists, feet, and hips ache from standing at the sink and peeling all those apples.
60 pounds of apples made 18 quarts of sauce and some undetermined amount of apple butter that is still cooking in the crock pot. I had one exploded, broken jar during processing (was just processing two jars at the time so it wasn't a huge disaster -- just messy), and that was a first for me. I'm listening to the last of the jar pings right now -- an affirming sound.
I make great applesauce, btw. I suppose it has to do with the apples and just cooking them really slow. I was working with 20 pounds of apples at a time, and each batch took 12 hours on the stove's lowest setting. I don't put sugar in the sauce -- just apples, spices, and some lemon juice.
Apples make me want to cry in a happy, the-world-is-good sort of way. Applesauce is medicine and hope in a jar.
Today I have been thinking about the Isle of Mull in Scotland and wishing we were there again. D and I went on that trip five and a half years ago. There were so many magical (hate that word, but it's appropriate here) places we visited, but I always feel the strongest pull toward Mull. I want to go back and eat the cheddar cheese, see the hairy cows, appreciate the changing weather (much like here in Oregon, actually), savor the amazing mushroom soup at the Old Byre Tearoom in Dervaig, and feel the peace that comes from hanging out with the standing stones.
I felt a lot of openness and wonder on that trip. We didn't have E then. She was conceived a couple of days later on Skye, which is sort of weird and embarrassing to admit on a blog (... as if we were doing some weird science experiment in a B & B in the Inner Hebrides... or perhaps embarrassing because the science experiment happened so infrequently that I know exactly when conception occured... or even weirder because there was another time when I conceived and felt the special flutter so knew immediately when it happened in Scotland, even though D didn't believe me...). I mean, it's important to me that I know when and where she was conceived, and I believe the magic in Mull helped open my spirit so that E could come to us.
I had a moment in the standing stones near Dervaig that was just for me. D was there, but not really in my way. He let me be. I felt fluttery. The stones made me feel happy. The stones were so old and craggy, but they were surrounded (almost engulfed in some spots) by gnarled trees that -- in relation to the stones -- were incredibly young. And there I was feeling so at home in that space, so free in spirit, and so much younger than even the trees (but feeling so old-old-wrinkly-old because I was going to turn 40 in a couple of weeks).
I don't know... sometimes I think there's magic in a place.