On Saturday in the early morning fog, I drove about an hour south to Gays Mills, Wisconsin. Now, Gays Mills is in the midst of the steep and rolling ground that Fernando came to know years ago. Every year when the trees are heavily laden with ripe apples, the town of Gays Mills holds a festival that is appropriately called Apple Fest. Before all the weekend festivities begin, a 2 mile and 5 mile race is hosted. Since last year I ran the 5 mile race, I decided to change things up and give the 2 mile race a try. All runners get to stretch their legs along a gorgeous local winding road.
After the race was over, I had time to kill before the awards were to be given out. So I wandered down main street with a bundle of dried pussy willow that I purchased in my bag, and a cup of hot coffee in my hand from a nice woman at the local natural foods co-op. Perhaps, the best part of the entire morning was meandering down the street looking at the wares that venders were exibiting. I lost track of time while making conversation with vendors while admiring their goods. At one stand, I met and elderly lady who sells jars and jars of preserves and spreads that she cans. She was as sweet as the lemon curd spread that she had me sample. I confessed to her that is was very good, but that I wasn’t going to buy it because I was inspired to try to make my own. By the time I left, she had stocked me with good canning tips, and given me her secret recipe for the lemon curd scrawled on a paper towel with directions on how to make a dozen pints of the wonderful spread that goes on toast, bagels and cakes.
My last and most lengthy stop was at the stand of an extremely eccentric and blunt artist. I dropped in to tell her that I am on an diet this month. (I have a serious earring addiction that I am trying to curb!) Susan, the artist expressed to me that she thought my diet is a stupid one, but that didn’t stop us from conversing and looking over her entire display…sigh. Maybe someday I will share some link to her work. She makes her jewelry out of polymer clay and paints it with masterful taste, last of all she adds beading. With getting caught up in earring lover banter, I lost track of time and almost missed out on getting my award for being the first female finisher in the two-mile. I didn’t want to miss this because I had on a high school track shirt of Colleen’s that she left behind by accident when packing from UD. Now, Colleen is my running sister soul mate, and I know that she misses running the windy local roads of Wisconsin in this cool fall weather. With my strange sense of humor, I thought it humorous to run it in her name. Literally.
After the little town’s newspaper’s photographer took a picture of the trophy winners from the 2 and 5 mile races…
the fog was no longer hanging thickly over the valley, so it was time to drive back home. Along the way, I did make a stop at an old apple tree. At this time in the season, I have come to regard the apple trees as free vending machines. Wow, are they ever good! Once again, I enjoyed the apple in honor of Colleen and then ascended back towards the ridge.
Until next time,