It’s always such a relief when the harvest is finished. I’d never realized that it covers from August until November. Different apples ripen at different times, and then there are the oddball ones that decide to ripen all at once.
I hire a small crew of pickers to handle my harvest, and my orchard manager Bree keeps an eye on them. They do the picking better and faster than I do, so I have the task of handling all the paperwork—paychecks, and making sure the markets I sell the apples to have paid, and ordering equipment and supplies, and other things like that.
And now it’s over for another year. Plus it was a great crop this year. I feel very lucky.
Now I can focus on the holidays. Since last year I was new at this whole thing, I barely noticed there was a holiday, after saying goodbye to the pickers and promising they’d have a job when the next harvest season rolled around. Oh, and there was a blizzard that kind of messed the calendar up too.
This year I can relax, just a little. With Seth Chapin, my whatever-he-is. That’s something we’re working on, but what with my orchard, and his home renovation business, there are days when we hardly see each other, even though we live next door to each other (that’s a New England “next door”—we can’t even see each other’s houses). Now that the New England winter has set in, we can spend more time together.
We can go cut a tree from the woods behind our adjoining properties, and put it up in the front parlor, which is where the working fireplace is. We can light a fire and put our feet up and admire the honey-colored wood of my house, now over two hundred years old. If I have the energy, I can go bake something with lots of cinnamon so the house will smell wonderful, or maybe mull some wine—or cider!—and we’ll return to sitting in front of the fire, enjoying our peace for as long as it lasts.
I haven’t figured out what I’m giving Seth for Christmas. I think his gift to me involves plumbing. Actually that would be the perfect gift for me, but I don’t know if I can top it with a gift for him.
I hope your holidays are as wonderful as I think mine will be.
As you know by now, we at Killer Characters are giving away books for the holidays. All you have to do is leave a comment for this post and you’ll be eligible for a signed copy of Golden Malicious, the most recent Orchard Mystery (and a New York Times Bestseller!), or an earlier title in the series if you need to catch up. And since I know you’ll have a few other distractions on Christmas Day, I’ll give you an extra day to comment.
Have a wonderful holiday!