Cowboy, cowboy marry me I’ll bake you a cherry pie”

Sitting on the deck having breakfast one morning last week, I remarked, looking from afar at our small urban orchard in the back yard, ”wow, that apple tree suddenly has lots of apples!”

Closer inspection revealed these “apples” to not be apples at all, but rather cherries.

As far as I know, in the many years this tree has been growing in our back yard—Catherine and her father planted it more than a decade ago—it has never produced cherries. I’d simply resigned myself to thinking of it as a non-productive apple tree.

But, wow, is it ever producing cherries this year. Scads of them. Sweet, juicy, red cherries.

There will be cherry pies. Perhaps tarts. Muffins. Jam.

There are two possible explanations for the sudden influx of cherries.

First, I may simply have forgotten that we have had cherries in the past. It’s been a heady decade; maybe I simply didn’t have the CPU cycles to notice cherries on the tree (or maybe the birds got them first).

Second, perhaps some ecological happenstance has caused the dormant cherry tree to suddenly produce cherries. We lost many trees — perhaps half the forest cover — in the back yard from Hurricane Fiona. The plum tree that is the cherry tree’s neighbour was felled (though it’s still producing plums, with one toppled foot in the grave). Perhaps pollination is involved?

Are there arborists (or psychologists) in the readership who might shed light on this?

Cherry tree in our back yard

A bowl of cherries.

A really big bowl of more cherries.

(The line “Cowboy, cowboy marry me I’ll bake you a cherry pie” is from the Elvis Presley song A Cane And A High Starched Collar, from the movie Flaming Star. I could have just as well titled this blog post “Life is not a bowl of cherries,” which is what my mother told me as a child every time I showed any hint of privilege or entitlement.)

A library is a good place”

Rebecca Toh, on libraries:

I’ve always loved libraries. They are a glimpse of the kind of ‘better world’ we all want to live in. That’s because by their very nature they are inclusive and welcoming. Anyone who walks through the doors of a library is reminded, just by inhaling the air of the library, just by being embraced by its atmosphere, to be a kinder and more caring person, and to forget, for a moment, the usual rules of our capitalistic society.

A library is a good place.

Swimming Lessons

I had a swimming lesson for the first time in 42 years today.

Lisa reasoned, rightly so, that as we’re living in an ocean province, on the beach a lot, we should top up our swimming and water safety skills, so we booked a week at the Mr. Bill Swim School in North River and today was lesson number one.

Whew: swimming is hard!

But I learned things, even in the short 30 minutes we had today, that will improve my swimming right away: how to alternate breathing sides for the front crawl, how to position my head for more efficient swimming, how to scissor kick. It was also my first time swimming with goggles (had they been invented in the 1980s?), which made things so much easier.

It was a “refresher course” for lessons I learned, more than 40 years ago, at the Downtown Hamilton YMCA from the estimable instructor Kevin Von Appen, but my lessons were so long un-refreshed that it seemed like a brand new day, with the aid of some vestigial muscle memory.

We’ll be back tomorrow morning.

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