When I was a child, the advent of crisp autumn weather meant our free time was spent at my grandparents’ Annapolis Valley farm. The smell of hay and damp, dew-covered grass mingled with the salty breeze blowing across the Minas Basin and the heady ambrosia of ripening apples. The sun low in the sky, touched the brow of the North Mountain, frosting the fields and trees with a warm, golden glow.

While the adults worked, my brother and I would play — exploring the barn, hide and seek in the orchard, clambering amidst the apple bins. The autumns of my childhood are framed by the sides of an old red wooden barn and shadowed around the edges by dust motes dancing in sunshine.

The Gravenstein is an old apple variety. It was discovered in Gråsten, Denmark, in 1669 — a lovely accident of nature that someone chose to nurture, a chance seedling that proved to have qualities worth cultivating. Introduced to Nova Scotia in the early 1800’s by Charles Prescott, who planted them at his estate in Starr’s Point, Kings County, it became popular, and was planted in orchards from one end of the Valley to the other. The apple that Prescott introduced was green with red streaks. The ones currently found in most roadside stands in the valley are of the crimson persuasion, the earliest strain of which was discovered in 1876, in Waterville.

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You were drunk and sweaty, and reeked of cigarette smoke. You were wearing a red shirt and a medal. You were walking with a friend. It was late afternoon and the rain had stopped, the sun making the air sultry with humidity.

I was on my way to the store to run an errand after work.

I was wearing my baby in a carrier on my chest. I was watching the post-run competitors walking past me, each in their own happy group of friends, laughing and chatting about their day.

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I don’t write much about my 13 year old because I respect his desire for privacy. In return, he accepts that there are times when I will mention him, or share a picture. We have an understanding on this subject and I don’t push it.

He wants, and deserves, his personal space.

This last year, I have been watching him move into teenagerhood — becoming a “proto-adult”, as I refer to him — and it has been exciting and bittersweet to see. I admire the personality into which he is growing, and I have no worries about him getting lost in his peer group. He is comfortable in his own skin and I respect how well he knows himself.


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I am lumping all summer into this one update. We were here, there and everywhere, and September always feels like a fresh start!

I’m back to walking in the evenings, which is great. I am better about making sure I meet my water goals, and mostly watching what I eat. I went outside my comfort zone and bought a swim suit that shows way more of my chest than I would normally allow. I have returned to meal planning, which means fewer last minute, less nutritional meals for me and my family.

Big disappointment this morning when I logged into FitBit to log my measurements:

They did away with the option of logging body measurements on their site (along with 1.5 years of my data) without adequately warning their customers.

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