Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?
These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.
Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...
...seems to be working so far
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Easing Into Fall
I'll be finishing some things around here over the next month, and looking forward to taking on the Winter Projects. I get cabin fever really easy, and unless I have something to do I will drive Mary out of her mind.
In the meantime there are lots of little things to do. This weekend is time to remove the air conditioners from the windows, put away the fans, and go through the summer clothes, and begin to toss out some t-shirts, and cut-offs that have been with me since '71. Over the next few weekends I'll begin to put away the outdoor furniture, and take down the little canvas cabana that has been our respite from the sun since June. Tasks like this signal the seasons change, and if I work with it, it won't be so hard to take come the first frost.
A few years ago, Mary turned me on to apple picking. As a kid our neighbors had apple trees and we climbed and ate apples whenever they were ripe. We never went to an orchard to pay for apples. When my daughter was younger, I remember going a couple of times for apples and pumpkins in late September. Pumpkin carving was always a tradition, but apple picking never was something I did year after year. I really like it, and wonder why I never did it more.
Here in Central Mass we have a slew of apple orchards to choose from. This year I plan on visiting a few. Last year we did The Brookfield Orchards, which I am sure we will do again, and we'll take in Breezelands, too, and then look around for a place we've never been to.
Each orchard offers something a bit different from another. Home cooked apple dumplings at Brookfield are great, and they all seem to have apple cider donuts which are addicting as heck. Most have those little country stores that sell a myriad of Autumn stuff.
Yep, I'll be dropping some coin this fall, and supporting our local farmers.
If you're new to the area, or haven't been apple picking in a long time, I suggest you take a few hours this weekend and do it. Besides gathering the apples, it is one way to reduce stress. For a while all those cares and worries that have mounted up during the week seem to float away. It's just you, the family, and the orchard. Some hot apple cider, a few bags of apples, and some time strolling through the stores can do a lot to soothe the spirit.
And, another nice thing apple picking can do for you is get you away from the Presidential campaign for a few hours.
Just my luck I'll find one of them doing a "meet-'n-greet" amongst the Granny Smiths.