Yesterday afternoon at 3 p.m it was:
40 degrees Fahrenheit outside
79 degrees in my favorite chair next to the wood burner in the living room
23 degrees in my bedroom upstairs
I wanted to dance when I walked out of the freezing cold school and saw the snow melting away and the tops of the mountains to the East. My enthusiasm was quickly curbed with concern for our apricot harvest.
Whereas a year ago I never would have given a second thought to crops and frosts, (except when my mom used to lay bedsheets over our flowerbeds when the weather channel warned of an overnight freeze) I saw the detrimental effect one cold spell can have on an entire year's worth of planting, watering and tending. We're nervous for the trees this year.
Last spring in late April there was a freeze that killed half of the village's crops and left the other half (in the land that sits higher none of the trees were harmed) financially secure. No one wants another poor harvest- especially those families with orchards that sit low in the plain.
This morning I was brushing my teeth outside (because it was warmer than the frost-covered bathroom) when my host brother came in from tending the pigs. I commented that the rain was better than snow and he said that no, in fact, it was much more dangerous because if the rain enters the apricot blossoms and freezes overnight it could kill all of them. And here I was content in my own little world, trying to figure out if the village pipe system could have thawed enough to provide some laundry water.
Maybe mom will come over with bed sheets for 15 acres of apricot trees...
Introducing Emelyn Ruth Bornstein
3 years ago