… a shake.
So, how’s that holiday baking coming along? It sure is hard to spend the weekend inside baking, when the weather outside is so enjoyable, isn’t it?
The alarm rang – oh, such a shrill noise in the dark room. Quickly I reached over to silence it. Ugh … it felt like I just went to bed. Outside, it was drizzling; I could hear it on the patio roof. I got up anyway, deciding it might stop and I could still salvage my Sunday stroll. As I was eating breakfast and catching up on the news of the day, which alternated between the climax of the climate talks and the weather events that were happening right here in our own backyard, I heard them say the temperature was in the low 50s. Wow … mid-December here in Southeast Michigan. Perhaps I should pinch myself? We broke records yesterday and today for our warm weekend. As for today, the previous record of 60 degrees was 134 years ago, way back in 1881.
It sure is hard to think that far back – or maybe not, as you’ll see below.
The drizzle stopped just as I drained my cup of coffee, but dawn had not arrived yet. I waited and then went to the front door to peruse the peephole – no rain, no fog, so I was good to go.
I suited up and made a mad dash out the door … sure, there were a few sprinkles landing in the puddles, but I might have been dashing through the snow in other years on December 13th, so I was not going to complain.
I didn’t venture to Council Point Park, but instead took my trek to the tracks and back. Along the way, the sprinkles continued, but not enough to turn around and head home. I was enjoying the scent of the tall pine tree near the footbridge connecting the two cities, and that heady scent continued in my nostrils long after I was in Wyandotte.
That is … until it was replaced with the aroma of cinnamon and apples which appeared to be wafting from the house where the windows were up and the screen was visible. It instantly evoked memories of apple treats made with love by my mom. There was her hot apple pie with a thin slice of cheddar cheese melting on top, or, her aromatic apple-dapple cake. And, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Mom’s extra-special, hot gingerbread cake with warm applesauce infused with cinnamon and nutmeg with a dollop of whipped cream on top.
Oh, how I wanted to linger, and have the scent envelope my clothes so I could keep on enjoying their treat vicariously, that is, until I shed my coat and hat when I returned home. But, alas … I decided to move on, lest they think I was loitering.
I got to the tracks, made a quick about-face, and started on my trip home. Of course, I had to pass the delicious-smelling house once again. My produce bin of crisp apples in the fridge at home suddenly lost their appeal. Sure, it is easy to say you have given up sweets, like I have – but, that is because I don’t deal with that awesome smell of baked goodies filling up the kitchen and beckoning you to sample them.
The rest of the way home, I continued to enjoy those delicious smells that had clung to my clothes in the damp morning air.
For many years, our neighbors across the street had a huge apple tree, and every Fall we became the lucky recipients of apples. The tree yielded many apples, some which dropped to the ground, and others that were reachable only with a tall ladder whereupon the branches were whacked with a broom to get the apples to shake loose from the tree. Both Mrs. Elmore, and my mom, would use an apple corer to get the most out of the harvest. My mom would then slice apples until her hands cramped up. Those occasional badly blemished apples were loaded into a plastic bag and toted to work where I gave them to one of my bosses – no, he was not a bad apple, but his wife had a horse, and that was a nice treat for him.
A whole lotta shakin’ yielded a lot of apples from the apple tree once upon a time. The Elmores are long gone, as is my mom, but the old apple tree remains.
This weekend, there was a whole lot of shakin’ going on with my own tree … my family tree, that is. Quite unexpectantly, a good friend of mine, Carol McCrellias, whom I’ve written a few posts about, delved into my ancestors on my mom’s side. To our surprise, she discovered we are distant cousins from way back. It seems my 9th great-grandfather, Louis Pinard, is also her 7th great-grandfather. She traced everyone back and discovered this fact … who knew?
I’ve known Carol for over four decades, and now it seems we are related. Cookie cutter images – we are not; long-time friends – we are. You know I want to comment now that “it’s a small world”, but I’ll leave you with this thought instead:
Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present and future. ~ Gail Lumet Buckley
[Image by photographer Jenna Beekhuis at Unsplash]