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I was away for a few days at Salt Spring Island in the British Columbia Gulf Islands. The setting is rustic with amenities. Hot shower, bed, great food. We have been able to visit with the people that own this land for the last two years. It’s always a restorative time. This second trip we had an idea of where we were going and how long things took. It eases the mind and soothes the soul even deeper when you feel like you can get to the location under your own steam without worrying that you are lost or late.

We hiked, ate, and wandered together. When we got up there was always someone to hang out with. We had a knitting circle and jam sessions. We talked about many things. Some of them important. Some of them less so. We visited farm stands and bakeries and markets and yoga studios. We slept the sleep of the dead after a long day.

We didn’t worry or talk to customers.

We ate goats milk gelato!!!

I seem to be all about the cherry these days. Cherry wood. Cherry fruit. Cherry colored yarn. Wonder Sweetie and I found some truly remarkable cherries at the farmers market. They aren’t remarkable in that they can talk or write computer code. These were ripe, decadently firm cherries with shiny plump skin and texture. And they tasted as good as they looked. Which is often unusual in fruit. Like the difference between homegrown and store bought tomatoes.

Just looking at them made my mouth water.

For Christmas Wonder Sweetie gifted me with a new cookbook called Good to the Grains by Kim Boyce of Bake Shop fame The pictures are beautiful. The recipes are easier than expected and delicious. It featured an apricot and boysenberry rustic tart that I though could be adapted to nectarines and cherries

Turns out I was right.

It was almost a disaster as I added what I thought was too much water to the tart dough. It all worked out in the end. A smooth soft flaky dough with this crazy luscious cherry and nectarine filling.

The fruit cutting was the most amusing part for me. As I quartered and pitted the cherries my hands got progressively more stained. At one point it looked like I’d thrashed a bottle of merlot within an inch of its life. It was a lovely color made better by the fact that I could pop plump little bits of fruit into my mouth.

The tarts cooked up nice and brown and the fruit kept its shape. I whipped up some heavy cream and maple syrup. I’m surprised the second tart survived the night.

I think I’ll have a single plate, bowl and cup. A single set of utensils. A pot or two. I’ll wash dishes after every meal. The dishwasher will go unused.

I think I’ll wear cotton night gowns and slippers on my feet and pad quietly around. I’ll hear birds and crickets and frogs.

I won’t rush.

I’ll think a lot.

I’ll listen to myself breathe and my heart beat till it doesn’t anymore.

I’ll stare at my spotted and vein labryinthed hands and wonder whose they are.

Maybe someone will have to help me up and down stairs, but I hope not.