Cidermaster Of Rio Oscuro

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9780874806601: Cidermaster Of Rio Oscuro

In Cidermaster of Rio Oscuro, an orchard in northern New Mexico is the setting for fourteen seasons of growth and harvest and for Harvey Frauenglass, the current steward of this orchard, to meditate on the natural cycles of life and death. Frauenglass comes to realize, this shamble of property offers a kind of salvation. The decrepit farmhouse and its outbuildings, the trees and their infirmities, and the querulous centuries-old acequia that funnels water from the Rio Oscuro to the farm embody histories of care and hope, of grief and loss. Stories of devotion and love may be found her, too: the story of a lonely Catholic priest, Father Freidrich Meyers, the previous cidermaster of the farm; the story of neighbors who share their collective wisdom and work selflessly along with Frauenglass and his wife; the story of Marni, Frauenglass's daughter, battling breast cancer even as she carries in her stricken body her unborn son Trevor. Cidermaster of Rio Oscuro offers a vision of a simpler life where a venerable orchard becomes a place to put down roots and find hope and expectation in the harvest. This is radiant first book about the ways in which a man is gentled by a growing connection to the earth, to her fruits, and to the order of the seasons.

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About the Author:

Harvey Frauenglass worked for fourteen years in the national defense industry before becoming a farmer and cidermaker. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in various magazines an journals. He and his wife, the artist Gayle Fulwyler Smith, live on the Rio Oscuro in New Mexico.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

"We came to farm living with the faith of the innocent. Gayle saw ancient fruit trees, vines growing over fences, mesas and mountains, and the river; it was a spot of beauty on the earth. I saw apple trees, more than I could count and I wanted to make cider. Inside the old farmhouse the mud walls were thick with grease and grime, the planked ceilings were laced with cobwebs, and the lights were bare bulbs in pullchain sockets hanging from fraying lamp cords which ran from room to room. The faucets spit and bubbled and bucket of water stood beside the toilet to help it flush. The whole farm was a midden of the broken, the used up, the forgotten, and the obsolete. . . . Everything here was ours and everything called at one and the same time for our attention. We had bought the farm."

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