Yesterday, we took advantage of a break in the rain to go out to Hood River with a friend who was visiting from LA. Hood River is a place of orchards, located along a river (guess its name!) that runs from the snowy slopes of Mount Hood, which rises up just beyond the road, looming close enough to touch. Donn didn’t come so no photos. (Don’t bug me–my camera’s been broken for months. I think sand got in its sensitive bits)
We visited 3 farms, went on a hayride and through a corn maze, and bought pounds and pounds of delicious, cheap apples and pears. Honeycrisp apples are $2.49/lb at Albertsons but 99 cents a pound when selected from huge boxes in a barn open to the crisp fall air and serving samples of spicy apple cidar, kept warm in a crockpot. Bosc pears, outside, had to be picked through and were 15 cents a pound. We sampled varieties of apples and pears found only out on these farms, family-owned with houses visible through the trees, run by children and cousins and friends through this busy season. Through it all the mountain, covered in fresh white snow, hovered in the background, only its lower slopes visible through the grey wooly clouds.
Of course today is gorgeous, sunny and clear. Today would have been the perfect day to go, instead of being filled with figuring out how to send in Elliot’s first devoir, filling out forms in French and looking up words in the dictionary, and taking the Dread Family Photo. Even though in photoshop all the heads can be switched from photo to photo, this still takes hours of “My smile was bad in that one.” “I was slouching.” “Elliot, no more farting jokes.” “No bunny ears! Be serious.” “I had my eyes closed.” “Just one more.” “Ok one more; I had my mouth open.” “I had my mouth open again!” So sadly, it was spent mostly indoors, except for a dash across the river to take Heather out for coffee for her birthday.
I have been enjoying this season: the fringed edge of a fir tree against a sunset sky; the trees glowing with a cold flame; or the leaves falling through the honey-thick sunlight like bright copper pennies. Is this fall more beautiful because of the ones I’ve left behind in the desert?

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