April 1

April 1, 2010

MORNING QUOTE: “You think you’ve seen every imaginable thing that could go wrong until something’s thrown at you that’s devastating.”

FIVE MINUTES LATER: “I can’t believe I did that! If that doesn’t ever take the cake!  [expletives deleted]

A NEW MISTAKE!  We stopped collecting sap at 2:30 a.m. since it had turned milky, and in the morning Lew ran the reverse osmosis machine as usual. But he directed the concentrated sap into a tank already three-quarters filled with pure water (permeate). That perm water was supposed to be for the final RO rinse of the year. Tap water is not pure enough, and rinsing the RO is one of those extremely important, behind-the-scenes chores.

WHAT TO DO? Drain and rinse the contaminated tank, and start over in hopes that enough raw sap remains to create a sufficient volume of permeate water.

WEATHER: Downright hot, I but forgot to look at the thermometer.

BOILING STATUS: Day 19 I think. The last day in 2010 of firing up the arch.

SYRUP STATUS: Total gallon count: 2752, or .41 gallons of syrup per tap. We have done better only twice in the past. We ended on Grade A Dark. Our neighbor who does backyard sugaring took away the sweet ( a noun) remaining in the front pan. She will boil it down in a homestyle rig in her family’s garage.

ARCHIVAL END-OF-SEASON NOTES: …am feeling end-of-the-year symptoms. My mind feels unsteady – I must remind myself that when sugaring is over I will be able to think clearly again. Perspective on problems becomes distorted several weeks into sugaring….Absent-minded. Thought I could fill the wash tank for the RO in my sleep – not so…..The weepy part of sugar season. all seems unfortunate, impossible…..Will I one day feel nostalgic for this day of sitting in the corner of the sugarhouse, on Day Twenty-Two, feeling incredibly sleepy and aching as I hear the Mama’s and Papa’s harmonize? ….I cannot cope with the English language…

MACRO: Snowmelt from Mt. Bend is still feeding Falls Brook.

MICRO: Walking down the driveway toward the valley, warm air against the cheek. Walking up the driveway, cold mountain air against the cheek.

MUSIC TO BOIL BY: Hank Williams, honky-tonk country.

5 Responses to “April 1”

  1. Kay Says:

    I’m sighing from relief that you can wind down. Maybe you won’t have to repeat these mistakes next year?

    • betsy Says:

      Hope you got enough permeate water (sap is purer than tap water?) And thank goodness for Hank Williams and the Mamas and Papas – you gotta have music if you’re gonna cry.

      • Audrey Coty Says:

        Sap is not purer than tap water, but the water that gets squeezed out of the sap by the reverse osmosis machine IS purer than tap water. We made do with the perm water we could get. Sometimes we make perm water with tap water, but it wasn’t necessary this time. Clear as mud?

  2. betsy Says:

    Thanks, Audrey, that’s clear as perm water.


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