How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Cherry buckets

Just a little getaway, not too far from home, to a favorite place of mine:  Door County, Wisconsin.  I told DH on the way up that assuming I’m not 100 when I’m widowed (this would be highly unlikely), I will move up there.  I would love living by the water, if I did nothing more than sit by a large picture window with a book and perhaps a throw, reading and watching the dramatic changes in the sky and water.  A dream.

Evening shore

We have a choreography of daily living that has been refined over nearly 23 years of marriage.  We know each other.  We expect certain behavior.  Approaching the town of Alaska, WI, he says “Isn’t it getting awfully cold?” and I say “We’re too far north!”  Almost simultaneously.  Every time we make the trip.  It feels good and comfortable and secure to visit the same places, talk about the changes, recall good times.  We are a simple people!

In addition to the much-needed changes of pace and scenery, our goal was to bring home cherries for the freezer.  And we did:  45 pounds of them, picked in just one hour, each of us picking from just one tree.  You don’t need to pay a lot of attention to what you’re doing — it’s not as if you have to search out ripe cherries.  (But why does it seem like the perfect ones are just out of reach, or perhaps on the next tree?)  Bucket tied to your waist, you can grab six or eight or ten cherries with each hand.  So there’s lots of time for thinking and dreaming.

Cherry tree

“Is your bottom covered yet?” is the expected call from DH a few trees down, as we compete to fill our three buckets each.  The proprietor of Falcon Orchard, Marifern Hill, runs a tiny operation, comparatively speaking, but we love going there.  She knows her fruit, and we are assured that we’ll arrive home with the cherries in great condition.  Luckily this year we had an extra cooler for pop that we could use, as we hadn’t figured on the cherries filling more than our usual cooler.  This year I shared a recipe with her, for a change:  Cherry Applesauce, which is really as simple as it sounds.  When the apples are ready (and I am counting on a bountiful harvest!), we make quite a bit of applesauce for the freezer.  Pork chops and homemade applesauce — nothing better.

It took less than 2 hours to pit all the cherries and pack them in quart freezer bags — 20 of them.  I spent about half the time aggravated because something was amiss with our pitter; I was mashing the cherries instead of pitting them.  Then I discovered that the spring was mangled.  I modified my technique, which required lots of arm work and, later, two Advil.

So now we are home, laundry on the line, guests coming over for supper, cherry cake for dessert.  I am blessed.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “How I Spent My Summer Vacation

  1. Sally

    Reminds me of wonderful summers at my great-grandma’s house. Picking cherries, walking the fence, and making pie. One summer, dad’s cousin came up from Atlanta. I was highly intrigued by Cousin Cathy. She was arty and took awesome photos. The fence and cherry tree are long gone, but it’s still a treat to go to the old homestead and visit relatives who live there now – especially when Cousin Cathy comes back to visit!

  2. Priscilla

    I love Door County too, but I haven’t been to pick cherries yet. I absolutely LOVE cherries. They are my favorite fruit and this season has been so abundant.

    Thanks for sharing your trip and your photos!

  3. jackie M. - Oregon

    Your trip sounds so fun. The kinda way I like to spend a weekend. Would love to have your cherry cake recipe. Love cherries – fond memories of a cherry cake as a kid.

  4. Debra,
    What a wonderful weekend get away, And to have some wonderful fruit for your labor. I love cherries and DH loves them too,
    Thanks for the recipe, hope to try soon
    Carol

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