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Tossing Pebbles in the Stream

This blog is my place to sit and toss pebbles into the stream. The stream of Life relentlessly passing before us. We can affect it little. For the most part I just watch it passing and follow the flow. Occasionally, I need to comment on its passing, tossing a pebble at it to enjoy the ripple affect upon Life's surface.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

An Early Christmas

I got my first Christmas package the other day. I don't mean to sound like it is one of many. With the exception of a book from my sister it is my only Christmas package. My second cousin, Jennifer, each year sends me a large package for Christmas, the postage alone is more than I would spend on a gift. Usually the package contains some of her home perserves, baking and Italian cakes and goodies, including a Panattone Sweet Bread. It is a great bounty of goodies I always look forward and enjoy sharing with whoever is around the house. In fact, I have had friends ask me if I had gotten the package yet. No doubt angling to share in the bounty.

This year the box contained something quite different. It was basically a box of apples, Macoun apples, a favourite of mine, which I used to enjoy when I lived in Connecticut. There were a few chocolates and a jar of perserves squeezed in along with a few photos.

I little while ago Jennifer had written me she was considering a career change. She was considering purchasing an apple farm, near where she lives in Connecticut. When I last visited she had told me she hoped to some day to start and agricultural enterprise but could not decide what it might be. At the time, she was trying to help save the last dairy farm in Connecticut, which was owned by the town but had a manager/farmer to operate it and a community group to support it. Besides, producing organic milk and milk products it was a resource for school children to visit and learn where milk comes from. After years of much effort sadly this farm has, at least temporarily, stopped operation. It was in the context of visiting this farm she told me of her hope to get involved in agriculture some day.

I was a little surprised at Jennifer's agricultural ambitions. She is a very elegant lady in her early 50's. She is single (was married for a few years in her 40s). She is a professional woman who has always worked in the construction field. She is an architectual engineer. She is a graduate of Georgia Tech and The Cooper Union. She is a woman of some means with a lovely house in a small town in Connecticut. She travels and seems to be the care giver within her family doing things to help her sister and father , in particular. She even is the care giver to me at times. I am very fond of her and she has been very generous and supportive of me at times. When I lived in New Haven, I got to know Jennifer's mother , cousain Jane, a lot better. She was my oldest cousin, my American cousin. I seemed to have been a favourite of hers who trusted me with some important issues in her life. Before her I was a favourite of her mother, my aunt Ruby, (by marriage), who was a grand dame of a lady most people found a little difficult but I found interesting. When my cousin Jane died I said to Jennifer we should correspond so that we would not lose the family connection. I always enjoyed having exotic" American cousins when I was young. So seeing her as a farmer was a bit of a stretch.

This brings me to the box of apples. Jennifer is considering purchasing an apple farm near where she lives. She is currently crunching the numbers to see it it is a viable operation for her the purchase. Unlike myself Jennifer is more of a realist and less of a dreamer than I.

Here you can visit the web site of the apple farm
One of the variety of apples grown here are Macoun. It was from here she purchased the box of apples I received. I have eaten them all already. Yummmm! I will have to go and purchase some apples to make the apple pie I was dreaming about eating.

(Click on photo to enlarge)

Cousin Jennifer and I a few years ago.

Mark Twain's house in Hartford, Connecticut

Another View of the Mark Twain House.
On my last visit to Connecticut my cousin took us to the Mark Twain House seen in the above pictures. It is a interesting place and a lovely grand house. When you marry well you can live in such places even if like Twain you are a writer and when not writing you would rather play with the children. As a child my mother read to me at least twice the books Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. It was interesting to see his home in Hartford.
Also, nearby is Harriet Beecher Stowe's home. She was a neighbour to Mark Twain. As a child, I had also read Uncle Tom's Cabin, based on the life of a fugative slave living in Canada.
If you ever get near Hartford, Connecticut, these historic sites are worth a visit.
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At 1:52 p.m., Blogger KGMom said...

Philip--several years ago, we visited the Mark Twain house in Hartford, Connecticut, on a family vacation.
I have recently read that the house--now a museum--is no longer financially solvent, and the caretakers may have to close it. How ironic--as Twain himself lost the house when he went broke.

At 1:35 p.m., Blogger possum said...

I do not remember Macoun apples... my fav is Macintosh, just finished eating one! That is also the only apple I will put in a pie - tho I have been forced in using Granny Smith once or twice when there were no macs within 100 miles, maybe further! I will have to look for macouns.
Your cousin sounds quite interesting... made me dream about being 20 years younger and setting off on a great adventure. Keep us posted on the Farm project!
It is so sad that kids have so few places where they can see an actual farm - not a milk factory - but a real farm. They are few and far between these days. How lucky some of us were to have had the experience of feeding the chickens and milking the cows. Extra points for squirting the cat in the mouth!

And Mark Twain - probably my favorite author. I visited that house when I was a kid. We stayed with kin in Bridgeport for a few weeks once upon a time. That aunt was into history and "made" us visit all these places we could have cared less about. But Twain's house fascinated me. I always thought it would have been such a cool place to grow up in. Today I think of the upkeep and heating bills!!!!!
Don't remember HB Stowe's house tho I am sure we went there...
Fun post - something to let my brain play with. (sorry about the preposition - something one should never end a sentence with!LOL!)

At 10:36 a.m., Blogger Janet said...

Sometimes, you just have to eat the apples.
The Mark Twain house is beautiful. I've never been to Connecticut (it's a bit far for a car ride . . .). But someday. I'm sorry to hear about the loss of the dairy farm. I remember visiting dairy farms as a child, and it was always very interesting to me. All kids should have the opportunity.

At 7:16 p.m., Anonymous The Hippie and the Preach said...

I love a good apple! Definitely better than a box of rocks! They don't build them like the Mark Twain house anymore. Great post.


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