Do you ever turn your life into an “if-then statement?” If I have this, then I can do that. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always work that way. What if you can’t make the “if” part of the statement true? The second thing can’t follow, and instead you sit around waiting. Sometimes it’s worth just jumping ahead to the “then” part.
Alternatively, do you ever put off doing things because you don’t want to do them alone? A number of years ago, for instance, I wanted to go apple picking but thought that it would be more fun to do with someone else. When I couldn’t find a friend to join me, I decided to go by myself, leaping over the “if” and going right to the “then.” I took my dog, Molly, and found an organic U-Pick apple farm nearby.
The people at the apple farm were so friendly that they waved when my car pulled up. When I arrived at their check-in area, they gave Molly a bowl of water and handed me a basket for collecting apples. I ended up having the most splendid day. Molly was so excited to have free reign of the orchard that she actually pranced. I ate loads of crisp, delicious fruit straight from the tree and filled two enormous baskets with beautiful apples of all shapes, colors, and sizes. When I started to feel disappointed that there wasn’t anyone to take a photo of me enjoying this blissful day, I realized I could do that for myself too. I stretched out my arm, pointed the camera at my face, and smiled. (This was before I had a smart phone and before “selfies” were thing.)
It turned out that I didn’t need to share the experience with anyone else. Molly was good company and because I was alone, I was able to really take in my surroundings and luxuriate in the day. It made me wonder how many experiences in my life I’ve missed out on while waiting for the “right” moment. Here’s to getting rid of the “if-then statement” and just going for it!
Autumn Harvest Salad
Having picked over 20 pounds of apples that weekend, I enjoyed them in a multitude of ways. I made applesauce and a few crisps, but I was especially excited about this salad. The combination of autumn ingredients is the perfect balance of salty, sweet, sour, and savory. You won’t want to stop eating this salad. It’s that good!
1-6 oz. bag of baby spinach
1 cup very thinly sliced red onion (from half and onion)
½ cup dried cranberries
1 cup raw walnut halves
1 apple cored and thinly sliced apple (such as braeburn, which is sweet-tart and firm)
6 oz. crumbled blue cheese (about one cup)
Extra virgin olive oil
Aged balsamic vinegar
Salt and cracked black pepper
Toss the spinach with the red onion, cranberries, and walnuts. Add the apples and blue cheese and toss to combine. Dress with a simple vinaigrette made from extra virgin olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar, salt, and cracked pepper.