You know fall has arrived Up North …
When the apples really start to crunch.
One fall long ago I visited my brother in the Hudson River Valley. I had just returned east after living a few years in the Sonoran Desert corner of the Great American Southwest studying (you guessed it) water.
The back story is that Arizona didn’t have any (water), or not much of it — with every drop being all the more precious because of its scarce state. Also conspicuously absent were “seasons.” Not that the natives wouldn’t scoff indignantly at my insinuation of seasonlessness: “Of course we have seasons!” was the usual rebuttal. Yes, I get it: the saguaros are less green in fall, or are the more green — one or the other, or maybe they were the same and other things changed. In a nutshell, I didn’t stay long enough to get into seasonal sync with the Southwest at the same time I lost sync with the old rhythms of the Northeast.
Opening my brother’s fridge, I was shocked: Apples were packed everywhere – up on the egg racks, behind the butter, in every unused drawer. It was fridge full of apples and barely nothing else. Not having much of a choice, I grabbed (you guessed it) an apple and posed the stupidest question I’d ever before or ever since asked: “Are the apples good to eat?”
“Unless you like them in spring when they’re really ripe on the vine!” came a reply from the other room.
Boy did I feel dumb. The consolation prize was the apple was as good as it looked and sounded. Just a big old crunch on that first bite. It was October in Dutchess County, New York. Of course the apples were good! What part of fall didn’t I understand?