On the kitchen counter there is a bowl of beautiful apples. They not only look lovely but smell wonderful. They are mostly Gala, with one Spartan from a tree I planted on Melissa Street many years ago and kindly donated by Annie, who lives there now. I think she must have done a better thinning job than I ever did, as the apple is huge,whereas mine were more modest in size.
I call them “mine’ as Jim, who admired the garden, took no part in its productive abilities. He looked after the inside stuff (painting walls, mending broken things and bringing in fireplace wood) and keeping me happy at the same time. It has been almost eight years now since he died. Unbelievable!
My eldest daughter called over Thanksgiving to say “thanks” (for producing her), which I thought was pretty nice, and I’m thankful for the 40 years I had with Jim. Len Mulholland, our fishing friend, who now lives in Nelson, B.C. sent me a snapshot of Jim and myself taken aboard a ship headed to the Queen Charlotte Islands. This brought back happy memories of a boat trip we made with Len and Anna years ago. Those Islands had the same haunted feeling I felt when we visited Hawaii years later.
Hallowe’en is coming! Do you believe in ghosts? I don’t, although there are times when I’m not entirely sure. My maternal grandmother was a firm believer in ghosts and one day when she saw one, I was convinced I saw him too. Mind you I was three years old and easily persuaded.
I still haven’t planted my bulbs and can’t think of an adequate excuse. If it’s as nice a day tomorrow as it is today, I must get on with it. I’m fast running out of excuses.
And I better do something productive with those apples — make an apple crisp, maybe, although apple sauce would be easier. I won’t even peel the apples although I’ll take out the core and seeds. If I leave the beautiful rosy skin on the apples, the sauce will be a delightful colour. I can force the flesh through the collander, eliminating the skins.
Helen Lang has been the Peninsula News Review’s garden columnist for more than 30 years.