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 http://www.bushyhill.com/applebarn/.
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