Brett and I have been exploring forlorn country farmsteads. We’ve visited places near Waldorf, Waterville, Claremont, West Concord, and Blooming Prairie, among others in Southern Minnesota. Gravel roads, amber waves of grain, and antiquated outbuildings attract us, along with the right price and location. Trees are especially important. Venerable oak and the splendor of cottonwood, perhaps an entwife if we’re lucky. I happen to believe we will have apple trees at our Anchor’s Rest, and about four out of five of the properties we’ve perused have had living, breathing, apple trees. I feel like laughing every time the apple trees come into view, as if it were my private joke with God.
Today the place we stopped by was surrounded by a sea of ripe gold, a ramshackle shed, cinderblock garage, the foundation of an old barn, a fire pit built out of fieldstone, and a motley copse. At the edge I spied it. Scraggly little thing, with the brightest, reddest apple. Just one. Laugh right along with me.
“Laughter is carbonated holiness.” -Anne Lamott