Why I Love Real Life.

Because Real Life is so cool.

I journeyed to upstate New York this weekend, to attend  the East Meredith Presbyterian Church for the Third Annual Pie Auction to raise money for the East Meredith Historical Society.

All the pies are home-made by local pie-making geniuses.

The bidding started at $10. (The highest-priced pie was a Lemon Meringue that went for $65.00.)

The auctioneer was a profesional — he knew how to keep the action fun, but truth to tell: people knew this was a fund-raiser and they were ready to spend money. I love these people.  (I’m related to that lady in the apron, by the way.)

But I really wanted the Lemon Cloud pie and I was sure that the winning $55.00 bid was with me (as we used to say at Christie’s, when I was in the Faberge auction biz) but when the hammer came down it turned out that the winning $55.00 bid was with someone else. Bummer.

The guy in the green shirt is my own Top Cat.

Top Cat bagged an Apple-Plum pie for us, for $45.00.

All told, the pie auction of 40 pies raised $1,155.00 for the Historical Society. That’s what I call baking!

Well, fast forward to Sunday, when we took a walk in the country. We had a good old DoG named Malcolm with us, a rescue DoG from the Heart of the Catskills Animal Shelter.

Malcom was all DoG joy leaps and bounds, soaring in happiness. It’s  a good day to be a DoG! It’s always a good day to be a DoG!!

I waded into the swamp marsh that is, for the moment, high and dry. In a month this will all be overgrown and hidden, so I had to take advantage: I was looking for birds’ nests.

I found two beautifully preserved nests in the thicket. One was so very, very delicately woven onto its perch on a low bush (above). The other one was smaller, and perfectly balanced in a teeny tiny sapling. It looks like just a random clump of dead mush…

…but on a closer look, you can see how marvellously it’s been engineered:

And then it was time to head back to Long Island. But we had to make a pit stop: to the local Dutch (from Holland Dutch) general store to buy  home-made almond cookies.

I bought all the cookies our Mr. Dutchman had . And then he kindly showed us some more Dutch specialties that he had on the shelves:

It seems that the Dutch are very fond of licorice — there are several different kinds for sale in the worm/bait/Dutch Deli in Meridale, NY.

I would like to sit here one day, with a Dutch almond cookie and a cup of tea, and watch life inMeridale come and go. (The wife brought the oil-cloth all the way from Holland. So: Holland people like table cloths that look like Delft tiles, with pictures of Dutch scenes on them! Nice!)

And this is my haul of Dutch treats:

No doubt about it. I have a facsinating life.