december, the first week

So, first of all it’s 9 degrees. Fahrenheit. Not like how I speak in hyperbole and I say, “It’s like 9 degrees!!” and I mean, “It’s really cold,” but like the real NINE DEGREES outdoors. I feel totally and completely lied to, since I left the east coast for promises of “mild winters,” a promise that remains unfulfilled.

Pittsburgh winter (two years ago):

Olympia winter (last year):

The only difference I see is that in Pittsburgh, they plow the roads.

Of course, inside it’s plenty warm, partially because we have small, warm pets who love to cuddle and partially because I am in love with our programmable thermostat and high-efficiency furnace.

This isn’t about our updated energy-efficient heating system, however. This post is actually about our apple tree. Really, the apple tree is barely ours. We’ve only lived here a few months, and I don’t think anyone in our house even ate any of the apples. It was sorely neglected by the former owners, and I was probably going to try to prune it and break my limbs working on it, and then pay not only my medical bills but also a certified arborist to come finish pruning it. So basically, this was going to be an expensive old apple tree. But it’s an apple tree, so what can you do? You certainly can not just cut it down, even if it is right in the middle of what might otherwise be your perfectly lovely garden space with raised beds and a little footpath. No, you can’t cut it down. You have to keep it and give up the dream of gardening in your apple tree-shaded backyard.

Unless there’s a big wind storm and the tree just falls. Then, it’s the best of all possible options. You are alleviated of guilt, and the garden space is returned to your green thumb’s ambitious care.

Here is the tree, just a few months ago, with children laughing nearby, apples ripening on its branches, and small dogs scampering in its leafy shade.

And here is the tree today, just resting on its side in the morning sun like it hit snooze and overslept the night after a raucous partying.

So, Rest in Peace, old apple tree. I hope you have a long, quiet winter in the big orchard in the sky. And thank you for missing the garage, the house, and even the compost bin. We’re super grateful that your downfall did not become an insurance claim.

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6 Comments

Filed under fall, home, urban farming

6 responses to “december, the first week

  1. Hillary

    1. The low tonight in Denver is -5 degrees. Not 5 degrees, -5 degrees.
    2. That’s a huge apple tree. Do you think someone would clear it for free for the wood? I have no idea if that’s an absurd idea.

    • jess

      1. that is why you could not convince me to move to denver!!! hideous! is that normal for denver in december?

      2. it is pretty big for an apple tree, but not big compared to the other trees in our yard. i think there’s a good chance someone would clear it for free in exchange for the wood. apple wood is pretty desirable for wood burning stoves, and there are a LOT of them around there. but i think we might want to chip the smaller branches, and reclaim the bigger pieces for landscaping projects… like maybe the footpath of my dreams, or a rustic addition to the chicken coop…. it’s hard to say, exactly. so we’re going to let it sit while we figure it out. levi, incidentally, wants to leave it to rot and “see what happens,” which i think is a beautiful, natural idea but i can’t stand for it.

      • Hillary

        Thankfully, not all that normal.

        Maybe Levi can have his own branch of the tree to observe and document- out of the garden area, of course.

  2. mariel!

    if you were to start curing your own bacon you could applewood smoke it! just saying.

    • jess

      true enough. by the time the wood is drying enough to burn (probably next winter), i would have time to raise and butcher a pig. or i could get goats, milk them, make some fresh goat mozzarella and smoke that with the apple wood. either way, only likely to happen in my dreams. home grown, home smoked bacon might make me reconsider vegetarianism….

  3. Fantastic post, did not thought this was going to be so amazing when I looked at your title with link!!

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