As I sliced and heated--I leave my apples unpeeled, because I prefer the sauce's subsequent color and texture--I thought about my friend DEM. She was very generous with both her time and her love, and even when she was swamped with work and family matters, she still often put our friendship first. Three years ago, on a frigid November Ithaca night, that generosity manifested itself in the shape of a syrupy canned peach cobbler, which she unexpectedly brought to the section meeting for our "Anglo-Saxon Law Codes" course. The October before, despite a heavy schedule of her own midterm exams and student papers to grade, she happily surprised me by appearing on my doorstep in the midst of a raucous housewarming party, and ate applesauce and Nantucket cranberry pie while we talked for hours. And the Fall before that, when I finally came home from the hospital, she moved into my apartment and cared for me as if I were her own daughter.
The autumnal view from my Ithaca porch
This is my first Fall without DEM, and I must admit that I'm finding it more challenging than I would have thought. Maybe it's because Fall, more than any other season, reminds me so much of Ithaca. The leaves in Central Park bear the same changing colours as those in my old Fall Creek neighborhood, and the children running down my block are as excited by the start of the school year as DEM and I were back on the Arts Quad. Or maybe it's because, as I make applesauce made from Autumn Jonagolds, I remember how happy I was to see DEM on my doorstep that October evening, and how she walked out of the cold Fall darkness into our bright, warm kitchen, which was filled with friends, and food, and the scent of apples.