Saturday, November 10, 2012

Hunting Season

Ivory practically jumped into bed last night.  Gone were the tears that had been running down her face, and the numbing ear drops I carefully dripped into her ears after dinner must have been working.  Slipping smoothly under the covers of my bed she grinned at me singing: "Sleep over, Sleep over, it's like a sleep over.  But it's not a sleep over.  It is just laying down in Mama's bed."
Adam had driven off just a few minutes earlier to spend the night with his rifle, in spite the icy Montana air, on the side of a mountain alone in a wall tent.
I had moved two giant pots filled with forty pounds of halved and cooked apples into our unheated back room to become apple sauce in the morning and decided to cuddle up with Sylvan and Ivory and call it a night.  When Sylvan nudged me awake to nurse I glanced at the clock - almost six in the morning - I don't remember a time that I have slept for that long with out interruption   "Seven thirty three", I thought to myself, "is shooting light.  That is an hour and a half away."
Since breakfast I have been in the kitchen. First turning the handle of my little food mill - separating the skin and seeds from the soft flesh - and a pink sauce flows into a big bowl, then ladling hot food into jars.  The kids have been building boats and castles from the wooden building blocks that are now scattered throughout the house.  Sylvan naps and Ivory colors the afternoon away.

Our house is infused with the scent of simmering apples, cinnamon and cloves.  Six quart jars and sixteen pint jars are standing in neat lines on our kitchen table.  Apple butter is cooking away on the stove and a third of my giant pot is still filled with sauce.  I am completely out of jars.

The afternoon light is fading and I try to recall what the time was that marked the end of shooting light.
I wonder when to put on a pot of coffee.
I wonder if Adam will be driving home soon with a carcass of a deer crammed into the back end of our tiny car.  He is sure to be tired and cold and hungry.
I marvel at the rituals we go through to bring food to our family table.

The kids are tucked into their own beds tonight.
Adam is home, stringing up a deer in the garage.
I wipe down kitchen counters.

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