The term, and ability to recognize such a thing, started when I was a kid cultivating beans in the summer. This was back before huge tractors with comfy, air-conditioned cabs and 20-row cultivators. Heat and humidity were never good for me, and there I was, on a noisy ol' tractor with a 6-row cultivator, going back and forth under a burning hot sun....(yeah, I had to walk to school through the snow uphill both ways too)...anyways, it was miserable. But every now and again, the wind would back 'round to the northwest and sweep across the Great Lakes, scouring out the humidity and bringing fresh, cool Canadian air. Such a day was a "gift day" - bright blue skies, comfortable temperatures, the sun laying gold and brilliant over the fields, a soft breeze rich with the smell of hay fields and fresh earth. I always felt such a day was a gift from God, bringing relief, rest, and just a small idea of the glory yet to come.
Today was such a day. Late November in Michigan, and we had sunshine and warm breezes, not the damp, gray dreariness we would expect. The air was thin and golden, smelling of sugar beets, leaves and woodsmoke, and the sun was gentle, reaching tentative rays through the bare tree branches, highlighting the last few yellow mums. Outside chores were a joy, and a few hours in the deer blind gave the perfect vantage point on a sunset of glory flinging banners of pink, purple, and deep fiery red across the western sky.
|Loading a dehydrator tray.|
|Dried apples going into storage jars.|