From the Blog

For Those of You Not Living In Portland

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It very suddenly got chilly this week. I’ve had my windows open since June and I finally closed them. Autumn arrived with a quickness.

But Autumn means cute coats! And fuzzy scarves! And apples and pumpkins! And leaves! And other stuff! I love this time of year. Not long out of high school, I worked on a pick-your-own apple farm in Massachusetts. It was always slammed busy in the fall. I bottled honey and cider and made caramel apples. Hands down, the best job I’ve ever had.

And I have a cherished memory of that place, where a couple of friends from my hometown came to the apple farm to visit me. Their names were Ryan and Brian (not kidding). And as they were entering the barn, they saw an older man trying to load a chord of apple firewood into the trunk of his car, piece by piece. It would have taken the guy an hour. So Ryan and Brian, strapping youngsters they were, loaded the wood into the older gent’s car. It took all of five minutes. And they refused his money and sent him on his way. I like to remember this story when I begin to think people suck.

Here in Oregon, it was a beautiful day on Saturday. And in continuation of my squeaky clean, wholesome lifestyle I’ve got going up here, we went to The Portland Nursery for their crazy apple tasting event. I love apples! They had fricken 60 different kinds!

And they had Macintosh apples, which I have not seen since moving here. I have been getting Honeycrisp, which are good, but different. We got 5 pounds of Macintosh apples and we’re going to bake up some pies.  Hell yeah, all American!

There was a huge long line for the apple tasting event. I like apples, but I don’t like lines. But I took photos.

There were a lot of people tasting apples.

We were only there for a short amount of time. I also wanted to go to Sauvie Island and look at the appley fallish pumpkiny stuff going on up there.

And this is where I’m a little irritated with myself. I hadn’t been to Sauvie Island yet. And it was a beautiful day. And I SHOULD have had more than a few gallons of gas left in the tank so we could see more of the island. But instead, we could only go to The Pumpkin Patch and then come back. Next, time, I will fill the tank and try not to be such a doofus.

The island was a short drive north outside of town. We got to drive over the pretty new Sauvie Island Bridge with a zillion other people who had the same idea. It was a clear day and we could see Mt. Saint Helens, Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood. And since it has been chilly and it has rained lately, all these mountains are snow covered again. Awesome. Volcanoes kick ass.

Since it was such a nice day, and we were so close to town, there were a ton of people getting pumpkins.

And riding hay rides.

And picking out pumpkins.

And sitting in a stroller, dribbling.

This is some stranger’s kid. I took this photo surreptitiously. I’ll probably get arrested one day for taking photos of other peoples’ children. But COME ON! Look at that face!

Sauvie Island was beautiful and I want to go back and see more of it. Maybe camp in a yurt. I’ll be sure to fill the tank next time I go.


  1. We taste-eed us some ape-uls too! After about 40 kinds, I started feeling ill. But that didn’t stop me from trying almost all the 60 kinds. IT WAS FREE, you know. Can’t NOT eat FREE food.

    Did you see they had this wild and crazy variety…I think it was called “Folden Relicious?” Or maybe “Golden Schmelicous?” Something like that.

  2. I found Macintosh apples this weekend at a grocery store!! In Redondo Beach!! So I got 6 and I’m going to make caramel apples tonight!! They also had these “Caramel Apple Wraps” in a generic, yellow package. I had them last year and they proved to be very good. So if you can imagine how excited I am to have a Macintosh Caramel Apple!! I love pumpkin patches!!! We have pumpkin parking lots here in good ol’ Los Angeles.

  3. Macintoshes are ok, but you really have to try fuji or gala. Crisp, sweet, juicy. Yum.

  4. it did get all cold all of a sudden. sigh. i guess summer really is over. but looks like you had a really lovely weekend.

    and i tagged you, over on my blog. because someone tagged me first. check my blog for the deets…. wheeee!

  5. OMG! if you go camp in a Yurt, please, please, pretty please, give me notice so I can drive the hell up there and do it with you!!!! Yurts rule!! on another note, there is a pumpkin patch adjacent to the 101 south of petaluma, I pass it on my commute to sebastopol. every sunday, headed south, the freeway comes to a grinding halt and we creep forward for about three miles, until we get to the pumpkin patch, and all the idiots in their cars can take a nice long gander at all the folks wandering the pumpkin field, and then they floor it. Nuts.

  6. yeah brian and ryan, i remember that time well. maybe the apple orchard was before my time, but do you remember the heather, heather, jessica, melissa and melissa and chad??? HA HA
    Hey Brian gave me your website and I have been lurking about for a few weeks now. I’m so glad to see that you have done something exciting with your writing, and humorous stories. I’m still in good ole freaking cold massachusetts. I came back 2 years ago from NJ. I am actually looking to move to Portland maybe in the spring or early summer…or fall, whenever, but I am really intersted in the city. I might be going out to have a look after I bring my new horse home from Canada. We should grab dinner for sure. It’s been YEARS!!! I hope your folks are well and Meridith too. I can see that you are well, I’m glad. Be in touch H.

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