Thursday, November 19, 2009

erika in the USA: the lovely inlaws and burbs and apples

Last week found me in Concord MA, where Petra’s parents Dean and Vivienne live. I’ve seen them more recently than most of those I’m visiting, since they came to visit us in Australia last year, so in a way it felt like I’d never left. It’s always a treat to see them, and to stay in their gracious home and eat Vivienne’s deeeeeeelicious food. :)

Their home is also the resting place of the pile of Petra and my worldly possessions, so opening the closet and apprehensively staring at the basement pile was like Christmas: ooh, just the sweatshirt I'd been wishing for! What a perfect sweater! (Shouldn't have been a surprise, as they were mine from 3 years ago.) Shocking, though, the extent of our possessions: we are so lucky to have so much.

On another note: I was surprised to be reminded of the loveliness of the ancient suburbs, with their hunched creaking white houses and grey leafless trees and dry grasses and muddy brooks and cold stone walls. Is this a vista that only a daughter could love, though, grey, grey, grim, dim, tight, delicate, wet, rotting, or would others think it as beautiful as I do?

Our wander through the burbs was presaged by a search for multitudes of apples, which as it turned out were no longer on the trees (early season!) but were solicitously and nose-temptingly piled into baskets for our immediate gratification. The smell of the apple barn (old wood, sweet musky apple skins, tangy spoiled apple juices, dry dirt, lingering old hay) inspired pangs of New England patriotism and hubris and sheer love that almost collapsed me. I decided on the spot to be an apple farmer for all time. (I later rationally decided there were better uses for my skills.) The variety of apple types new and heirloom that were unfamiliar to me was exciting as well, as it means I have a lot of apple tasting to do when I get back.

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