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Sunday, September 25, 2005

Odds & ends

Apologies for the light blogging of late--I've hardly had a moment to myself for days.

Lowlights of those days:
  • An all-day Human Resources orientation at Big Urban on Thursday--Thursday being, otherwise, one of the two-non-teaching, non-commuting days that my sanity depends upon
  • Getting about five hours of sleep both Weds and Thurs nights
  • Getting stuck on the subway for AN HOUR Friday morning, standing the entire time
  • Thus missing my train to Big Urban, thus requiring me to sit around the train station for over an hour to take the next one, thus arriving on campus exactly 7 minutes before my first class (luckily, my classroom building is a 4-minute walk from the train station).
Highlights of those days:
  • George Washington Boyfriend in town Thurs eve through Sun eve!
  • Going to see a really awesome new play by our friend PW1 on Friday night
  • Spending 12 hours Saturday up at the Chateau Fergusberg

The highlights almost make up for the lowlights (although all of them have made me rather tired and worried about how on top of my shit I actually am for the coming week). Saturday was glorious: sunny, and even rather hot in the sun, but still the first day that really felt like fall around these parts. GWB and I took the train to Small City, where the Fergusbergs live, and they and we and a whole bunch of friends had lunch and then . . . went apple-picking!

The orchard up the highway is situated in a lovely little town and is nice in itself, although the experience is clearly geared toward cityfolk and suburbanites: ooh, a petting zoo! Homemade ciders and pies and preserves! Indian corn and pumpkins! Easter-Island-like figures made out of hay bales! And, of course, delicious but overpriced apples that require far more time and effort and are more expensive than the same apples bought in a store.

But what the hell: you're paying for the experience, right? And it's an enjoyable and even rather meditative activity, this wandering through the trees picking out your own fruit. GWB and I had gone with just the Fergusbergs last fall, on the last day of the season, and quite enjoyed it. And if this time there were mobs of people and the whole experience felt a tad less fresh and a tad more artificial, we still enjoyed the excursion and the company.

After picking our fill, we caravanned back to the Chateau, popped open some beer and uncorked the wine, and spent the next four hours drifting in and out of the kitchen and sunroom, talking, preparing dishes for our apple-themed dinner, and grazing on the endless supply of snacks. The Fergusbergs are fantastic cooks, great hosts, and have such gatherings often, but this one was bigger than usual: in addition to our usual group of 11 (college friends + sig oths), we had two additional college friends plus Marielle (the female Fergusberg)'s brother, his girlfriend, and dog, who are all Katrina refugees and are currently staying at the Chateau.

And I don't know if it was the larger number of guests, or the mellowness of this time of year, but this particular party was even more enjoyable than our gatherings always are. J-Fav just lost her father unexpectedly, only two weeks ago, and yesterday she and G-Fav announced that they're having a baby (the first pregnancy in this group of friends)--and I wonder whether it isn't all of these changes, the one so tragic and premature and the other so happy and full of promise, that made me more aware of how much I treasure these and all my friends, and how lucky I am to have them still. I hope that, ten years hence, we're still getting together to drink and eat and laugh together.

link | posted by La Lecturess at 8:51 PM |


Blogger Phantom Scribbler commented at 9:33 PM~  

Oooo, either there are a lot of orchards like this around, or we spent the weekend at the same place...

I remember, not so many years back, when it actually was cheaper to pick your own apples. That was before petting zoos and such. I guess I'm in favor of anything that keeps the orchards solvent and not bulldozed under for subdivisions, but "artificial" is definitely a good word for the experience.

Blogger La Lecturess commented at 10:40 PM~  

Oh, wouldn't that be funny if we were!

Unless I'm mistaken about your location, though (and I might be), this particular orchard is probably a little further afield than you'd probably want to schlepp for your apples. But perhaps petting zoos and hay-bale art are pretty standard fare?

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