A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Biały Dom

Today I celebrated Easter at Biały Dom farm in Easthampton. "Biały Dom" means "white house" in Polish. It's a beautiful big old farmhouse with the back of the kitchen bumped out into a large sunroom. Cathedral ceiling, windows all around, a woodstove, dozens of luxuriant plants and a rocking chair make for a seriously cozy spot. No animals in the fields around the house, just Christmas trees and sugar maples around a sugar shack built by gentleman farmer Steve.

Polish holidays are all about food. The menu was shrimp cocktail, devilled eggs, and plenty of wine, followed by ham, scalloped potatoes, three kinds of kiełbasi, asparagus, hard boiled eggs, Rose's homemade babka, and a poppy seed roll. Plenty of horseradish, and butter in the form of a cross. Dessert was cheesecake, a tart, plus some other things which I didn't really note because Rose's cheesecake was so good, and of course coffee.

After we ate, Steve gave us a tour of the sugar shack and the trees. I know a fair amount about sugaring already, but I did learn to tell a sugar maple from a red maple--the indentation in the leaf forms a "u" on one and a "v" on the other. While everyone else oohed and aahed about spiles and buckets, I worked off my dinner playing throw the stick with Zoe the German shepherd.

As I was leaving, Steve presented me with a bottle of Biały Dom maple syrup. I was flattered, knowing how much time, effort and firewood goes into making it. So flattered that I offered to help next year when Steve jokingly suggested it. I wasn't kidding. If he wasn't either, I guess I know what I'll be doing come next February.

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