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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Grateful for Sunshine!

Bright berries!

There’s no denying that Sunday was a gloomy November day, grey and chill and forbidding. We went out into the world for a while, but before long I was more than ready to get back home again and curl up with a book, a cup of cocoa, and fire in the fireplace until dinner time. Monday, however, the postponed errands could no longer be shirked, and so it was with a glad heart that I greeted a sunny morning sky. Even if the clouds were to roll back in before noon, seeing blue sky and shadows on the ground had chased my Sunday blues away, and when David said he would join me on my far-flung rounds, we invited Sarah along and set off down the road, all three of us looking happily out the windows at the sunlit scene.

First stop, Leland: bank, post office, library. NJ’s Grocery in Lake Leelanau was next, and another post office stop in that little village before we swung over to Suttons Bay so I could visit Radio Shack and add minutes to my little flip phone. Loaded up with minutes, I took the opportunity to check out the Michigan products shop next door, where I bought Zingy Creamy Tahini Vinaigrette from the Redheads and fresh farm chestnuts that came from my Leelanau Township friend Margo Ammons and her husband. Before leaving town, we stopped to visit a horse on one of the back streets.

A new horse along the way
On the way to Cedar, where I had arranged to purchase rabbit meat from a local grower, we took one of my favorite back roads in hopes (my hope) the draft horses would be out this trip, and there they were. Then — lagniappe! — farther down the road a horse I’ve seen many times before was now joined by three new horses! We stopped to admire them, and I felt my day was already made, whatever happened from then on. And the sun was still shining….

The Bunny Hop Ranch would be worth a whole photo story. It’s a custom butchering operation out in the country, and since it’s the middle of firearm deer season Julius Bugai and his helpers had been very busy dressing out deer, along with getting started on Thanksgiving turkeys. “We’re falling behind,” I was told cheerfully. My rabbit meat came out of the freezer in neat little packages put together earlier in the season, but one of the guys offered to add me to to the crew. “We’ll give you an apron,” he told me, “and then all you need is a knife. We’ll teach you everything you have to know.” Maybe next year I should hire on, but this was my day off, the sun was shining, and David and Sarah and I were having a few hours of what felt like vacation, so I thanked the butchers and went on my way. 

Pegtown Station in Maple City is closed on Mondays, so we went back to the Cedar Tavern for lunch and shared a big plate of nachos, and then — back into the sunshine and through Maple City to detour past a major horse operation, because this, you see, is my idea of a drive in the country: seeing as many horses as possible. 

Unlike Sunday’s gloom, Monday was an inviting and cheerful day all over Leelanau County. No more bright reds and oranges and yellows of maples and popples, but somehow in the sunshine the browns of oak leaves looked very rich and warm and beautiful, so when David stopped to look over a car for sale, I strolled down the road a way with my camera. Staghorn sumac berries glowed in the light, which illuminated even nearly colorless grasses so that they looked ethereal.

We stopped once again at the library in Leland, this time for movies, and I made a quick dash into the Merc (Leland Mercantile, Leland’s grocery store since forever) for a bottle of hard cider from Tandem and some good organic carrots, picking up parsnips too for good measure, and then we were ready to go home. 

What a day! Looking and laughing, playing the radio or talking to each other, stopping to visit horses in three or four different places along the way, and going out for lunch, it really did feel as if we were on vacation all day long, and I was grateful for the sunshine, for the company of my darling and our dog, for the beauty of the countryside, and for the hard work of all the people providing good local food, not only for the holidays but throughout the year.

How strange that 24 hours can bring on such different attitudes to life! Sunday, I wanted only to huddle in my burrow. Monday, and my cup runneth over!

Oh, and I forgot to begin at the beginning. I’d been out first thing that day (well, second thing — after Sarah’s initial morning walk) to cut down a little tree in a crowded corner of our back meadow. But you will be seeing more of that in days to come, so I won't show it to you today....

This post is dedicated to Joanne Sahs in Northport, because she was disappointed I had not uploaded a new post on Saturday, and to all my friends and readers -- of books and blogs! -- in the Leelanau and Leland township libraries.


Deborah said...

I love joining you vicariously. Thank you!

P. J. Grath said...

Lots of travel posts coming in the new year, Deborah, so stay tuned!