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Tales of apples and bagels...
November 23, 2021

"Eat an apple on going to bed, and you will keep the doctor from earning his bread!"

This morning is Bagel Morning and we actually placed an order this week. Unless some ruthless off-island or greedy Octogenarian grabs our order, there is no need to rush and be there when the doors open. The bakery is on its Winter schedule but of course, residents still desire their regular ration of bagels. Like so much on this island, most of us cheerfully play nice and share, due to the community that resides here full-time. Even before Covid, there were unspoken but understood rules. Many folks here are alone, trips to the Village carefully planned and their source for staples are the options here.

Plus, really, this bakery would have to have round-the-clock shifts and many more employees to truly keep up with the demand. There are deliveries to other islands' stores but the bagels are best fresh.

It is a big highlight of my week, just driving there, parking under the huge trees by a massive blackberry bramble, then walking slowly up the drive. Thick forest surrounds the bakery, each whisper of breeze seen at tops of trees, sounds muffled from the road to the point of near silence. Their house is one built by a bunch of back-to-the-land and draft refugees way back in 1970. Built entirely from local wood, designed to blend in, not be noticed, over the years, new owners have kept to the design. Since it was built for communal living, it is a big house, two and half storeys, weathered wood, balconies and porches up in the trees. Now only the bakers and their small family live there. The lady baker has a studio at one end of the top of the house and on sunny days is often on the balcony painting.

The whole Deep-In-The-Forest scenery mixed with baking and the scents of bread, muffins and the special cookies they make for their vegan gluten-free ice-cream sandwiches wafting down the road contributes to that wonderful faerie-tale ambiance. Chickens roam freely, darting here and there, rooster crowing and bossing his harem about, big fluffy barn cats that are amazingly friendly, the crunch of gravel under my feet...I drag my feet, walking slowly, just reveling in being in these enchanted woods. However, my unhappiness with our much too neat and bare front lawn grows by leaps and bounds after every walk down that little road.

With all we are dealing with, with everything that is going on and around us, my ever-growing but rather silly obsession with planting trees, not caring one bit about the view at all, a row of trees on each side of the drive way, and very little lawn...just masses of tall flowers in season changing waves, tall tall privet and Rose hedges, blocking the noise of the now heavy traffic, well, it is all becoming deal-breakers. I put out framed photos of our house back home, every side of the house, fences, gardens, trees and flowering towering bushes and roses, as plans!

Next up, those awful windows. I actually wrote to our sons that those mus be replaced. I have given a good try but no.

Oh, I am being polite and respectful and most of the time, I am too distracted by all the new medical issues and crisis. Now how to make clear, I cannot keep being so far away from our family without more visits, even if I may have to go alone.

Yesterday, the girls and I played a new word game for hours and hours, way up in the big Craft Room on the top floor of their house. I knew it was getting super-late but the girls just shrugged and we got their grandfather to play some too, all of us laughing and trying to be smart. At about nine their time (way way past bedtime and I was actually a bit concerned and thinking about texting their father or nanny) when we heard too, footsteps on the stairs and our son looking for them! He was surprised almost three full hours had passed by without a peep or any contact with the girls at all. Quiet and peaceful, he had finished up two critical meetings and three international calls and one Zoom. Our grandson had been sleeping since after early supper and was still asleep. (He had had a long busy day.)

BabyBoyI was surprised the girls had happily left him alone for sooo long, since their nanny had left earlier. Himself and I had a wonderful easy time with our granddaughters and they hustled off, happily for bed.

As the doctors told us, we are living as normally as possible now but on the seventh of December, it all begins. My husband was perked right up, after spending that time with Jelly and Butter Bean and it made me think again, that eventually, just like before, I need to go stay and we need to visit lots lots more. And eventually have them come stay for long visits.

My gentle rebellion at this implied expectation that I must focus exclusively and only on the illnesses is getting a bit stronger.

Anyway, we took a big bunch of apples and gave them to several folks that have no apples at all this season. At Sunday Lunch (with a roast and Yorkshire pudding and everything) at Bonnie and BBIL's, we presented them with several boxes of choice apples for pies. They were amazed at how crisp, fresh and fragrant the apples were, four varieties great for pie! I explained my system of picking and storing (no cellar, no root house or spring house unfortunately) and they still looked puzzled. They still are mystified as to why we had such a great crop and they and many others had no apples at all. That killing heat, the drought, well, one of our Gravensteins only had a few apples. We still have tomatoes ripening on the vines in the sunny hey protected garden. And lots of peppers. I gave her several gorgeous green and red bell peppers and they smelt soooo good. Apples and Bell peppers look really pretty in a sea grass basket lined with a blue and white striped line towel too.

Another deal-breaker is amazingly trivial to some folks but is becoming huge!

Curtains. Plantation Shutters. Most people we know literally have none of these. A bit grouchily, the other day, I told someone if they wanted to gaze at that "marvelous view" that the view is even more spectular and appreciable...outside from the porches! If they chose to wander to the far end of the deck in front of the LittleHouse, there is an even more breath-taking view there. It is too. No way to see from inside, I often am to be found there, watching the play of light and shadows on mountains and sea.

Sometimes I feel really guilty recently for this growing rebellion. A friend back home is akways fussing at me because everthing revolves only around my spouse's illnesses. Everything. Perhaps that took root in my mind?

Of course, in this fast-ending, In-Between Waiting Time, perhaps it just distracts me from the more uncontrollable and potentially horrible things ahead?

My NBFF is constantly reminding me, as she puts it, that I'm a person, too. Not just a handmaiden/nurse/cook/cheerleader for the family and personal caregiver for my beloved spouse. Hard to remember that.

However, after the doctor's appointment super-early tommorrow morning, depending on what we learn, we will just have to see if there will be any sort of energy or time left at all.

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