I hope I’m not being rude, nudging Nell Pratt aside, but I thought it was about time I introduced myself. I’m Meg Corey, and I own an orchard in Granford, a small town in western Massachusetts. I’ve been kind of busy because right now I’m in the thick of my first harvest. I feel very lucky that it’s a good one (in spite of a rather scary hailstorm this past summer), but don’t let anyone tell you that modern farming is easy. It’s not, and I’ve got the calluses to prove it. Nothing in my former life as a banker in Boston prepared me for hours and days of pulling apples off the trees (carefully, because bruising lowers their value, and I can’t afford to lose any income this year) or worrying about storage and how to sell them.
But I have to say I like living in the country, even if the 1760 house I kind of inherited leaks like a sieve and needs a new roof. I don’t think about the problems when I wash dishes in front of a window overlooking what was called the Great Meadow on maps two hundred years ago, and I know that it’s the same view at least eight generations of my ancestors saw.
And the orchard is beautiful. I’ve been here less than a year, but I’ve seen it go from bare branches to pink blooms to clusters of gorgeous red apples, and believe me, I feel really proud, even if it was more the result of enough sun and rain than anything I did.
And I’m proud of myself for sticking it out. Believe me, I was tempted to pack up and run more than once in the past year. It’s not easy being the new kid in town, especially when you keep finding bodies, but I’ve made friends, and I’ve met someone who is more than a friend, although I’m not quite sure what I’d call Seth at the moment. But we’re taking it slow, since we’re both so busy—me with the orchard, and Seth with his plumbing/home renovation business. And he lives right next door, which is convenient for those rare occasions when we both have some free time.
I’ll have more to say once I get this harvest in, but right now the apples won’t wait. I’ll be back—I promise!
Meg Corey appears in Sheila Connolly's Orchard Mystery series.
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