Saturday brought much-needed rain, and down came leaves and needles to sprinkle the yard—the lawn, the patio, and the driveway. The rain stayed just the right amount of time so that it wasn’t a dreary nuisance—or worse—and Sunday was bright and warm with a deep blue sky. A day for yard work, for getting pots emptied and washed and stored down cellar. A day for hauling wood.
It was also a day to make apple galette. The day before, I had brought a pie to a potluck at our friends Margy and Steve’s house. The leftovers stayed with them, and Clif and I were feeling a little apple-pie deprived. However, a whole pie is simply too much for Clif and me. While it’s good to have treats on occasion, a whole pie for two people would stretch that occasion from a treat to a trend.
Why not a galette, I thought? It’s like a half of a pie. Probably still way more than Clif and I need, but certainly better than a whole pie. One pie crust, half the filling of a nine-inch pie, and voilà—galette. They are fun to make, too, and their rustic qualities make galettes less fussy than a pie. Mine always come out a little lopsided, but for me that’s just part of the charm.
After lunch, Clif and I each had a piece of still-warm galette. Clif gave it a rare “Really good!” rather than his usual Yankee “Pretty darned good.”
After the galette, we were ready to head outside and work. Our neighbor Denny stopped by as he was walking his dogs, and we talked about politics—we have a Craig Hickman sign on the lawn—and the upcoming elections in November. As we are all Democrats, we are hoping that Mike Michaud will be our next governor.
Denny continued with his walk, and we continued with our chores. The fallen leaves gave the yard a delicious nutty smell, and every once in a while I had to stop to watch the the golden swirl of needles and leaves as they fell from the trees.
I am a homebody, and to me an afternoon spent doing chores is an afternoon well spent. It’s not that I don’t enjoy getting together with friends or reading or going to the movies, but I take real pleasure in doing the everyday things in life.
And a good thing, too. As I’ve mentioned before, everyday things make up a very big part of my life—of most people’s lives—and if you don’t enjoy them, then life is pretty dreary. This is not to diminish the importance of the breaks in our routine that give life spark but instead to emphasize the importance of being absorbed with everyday matters and chores.
There are many different ways to define happiness. But it seems to me that being absorbed with work, in whatever form it takes, and getting satisfaction from it is one definition of happiness.