Archive for September, 2014


Abbey cleaning her harvest.

Daughter Abbey dropped by this Labor Day.  Taylor was not feeling well, so her younger sister came alone. Typically, the dynamic changes quite a bit when it is one-on-one. Rather than letting me watch my Phillies game (they happened to be throwing a combined no-hitter at the Braves!) — she wanted to do something outside. Given how rare it is for our children to ever want to venture outside, I was thrilled at the opportunity and leaped from my comfy sofa to oblige.

I first took her to the lower field to see the remaining mega-pumpkins, still growing in the two patches.  “Wow!  They are huge!” she exclaimed. “Dad, show me the fruit trees.”

So, we walked to the young saplings and discussed when they might bear some fruit. “Someday I want to have a house with fruit trees,” she said.

I then took her to the grape arbor to see what remained after Tammi’s picking last week.  Lo and behold, there were tons of grapes!  Abbey picked one and asked if it needed to be washed. “No,” I said, “these are natural and organic — no pesticides to wash off.” I then popped one in my mouth and discovered a most pleasant sweet taste — like grape Kool-Aid.

“Dad, can we pick a bunch?” Abbey asked. “I want to make grape juice.”

“Absolutely!” I exclaimed, and went to fetch a basket.  We then spent the next quater hour filling it with bunches of ripe purple grapes.

After it was filled, we went to the porch and commenced to mash enough of them to make several glasses of juice. Abbey made sure no seeds or husks remained. We then poured three glasses and shared it with Tammi.

“Hmmmm, this is really good!” said Abbey, “Maybe we can make some wine!”

I held that thought as we returned to the living room to watch the conclusion of baseball history.  Indeed, the last place Phillies had no-hit the Braves — Hamels for 6, then Diekman, Giles and Papelbon for an inning each. 7-0 Philadelphia!  A great day all around!

After I took Abbey home, I grabbed the container full of husks, stems and seeds and headed to the stone wall where we had smashed pumpkins and been gifted with a pumpkin patch.  I found a wide bare spot and spread the grape remains around, imagining the emergence of vines next spring.  I’ll build arbors here, I thought.

Three glasses-worth of free-squeezed grape juice

Three glasses-worth of free-squeezed grape juice


"Hmmm this is good! Maybe we can make wine!"

“Hmmm this is good! Maybe we can make wine!”

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