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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Slices of Apples

On the first day of fall, after filling our bags with kale and squash from a farm stand, I planned to "buy" a bag of apples; however, my husband was destined to pick his own.  So, in spite of my reluctance and the complex memories orchards hold for me, we pulled into the crowded parking lot.
 
Ad imageSoon, I found myself pulling a little red wagon and traipsing through an orchard in search of tree ripened Macouns and Jonagolds.  It seemed strange to be at an orchard without kids in tow and without the intent of helping out; yet, there we were, my husband and I, in search of some sun kissed apples at a strange orchard.

We had not been out there long, when an older gentleman riding a "quad" asked us if he could guide us to our destination.  As we talked about Macouns and an elusive plum tree, I noticed his labored breathing, his frail face and his oxygen tank.  I wondered about how he found the energy to ride around the farm; however, I also noticed his his total enjoyment sharing his farm with us and the other guests. My thoughts wandered to my brother, who like this gentleman, smiled through the pain as he spent every fall weekend, right up until his end, shuttling pickers around his wife's family orchard.

As we wandered through the enless rows of Red Delicious and Mackintosh, I noticed that we really were not alone.  There were many families, young, old, of every color in the rainbow, speaking many, many languages, and going through the rows in search of the best fruit for their own tables.  We guided a women determined to make an apple pie away from the Macouns toward the Cortland apples as we filled our bags and our souls with apples warm from the sun.  My thoughts wandered to all the times I had spent with family in orchards over the years.  I thought of pulling our wagons filled with our kids and apples.  I thought of early morning drives to the farm my brother adopted, with my own children, eager "employees" who would be making donuts or shuttling guests, their "first" jobs. 

We left with bellies full and bags of tree ripened fruit.  We will surely have many slices of apples during the first weeks of fall. I had been apprehensive of dredging memories; however, I left with a full heart and an awarness of the power of sharing "small bits" (slices) of what you love with others.    

10 comments:

mskim said...

I like how you described seeing all the different families and people there with you at the orchard. I miss being able to go apple picking and the good times I've had with friends and family. Thanks for sharing this moment with us. :)

Lynn said...

Wonderful descriptions and memories!It brought back a few of my own as it has been years since I went apple picking! Thanks for the memories ;-)

Nanc said...

I hear the wistful voice of a woman who has loved her life and cherishes memories with those she loves. I think the little pictures add to this story. I want to teach kids to do this with their writing. xo nanc

newtreemom said...

As you said "my thoughts wandered," I felt I was wandering through the orchard and through memories, too. Reading this piece was like going for a pleasant, meandering Sunday afternoon walk.

maria.selke said...

Beautiful, evocative post. You've left me wanting to take my own trip for apples, and memories.

Amy Rudd said...

I love reading about your orchard experience. I always want to try and go to one, but never have yet-maybe this coming weekend-thanks for the inspiration.

Linda at teacherdance said...

Lovely memories you've captured, Anita. It sounded bittersweet in reference to your brother, but there were good ones too about him, & then about all the times you've done this. I really haven't done it very much & your description pleased me, made me want to go! I loved your little 'noticings'. Thanks for a beautiful slice of apple-picking. I adore apples so that made it special too!

fireflytrails said...

I am glad you decided to dredge your memories - I hope they were mostly happy ones. I loved so many of your phrases, including, "we filled our bags and our souls with apples warm from the sun." Thank you for sharing from your heart.

Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

Such a lovely post with so many wistful memories. I, too, love the bitter sweetness of these recollections - life is like that, right?

Peg D said...

Our kindergarten field trip to the apple orchard was last week. It was my 8th trip and I learn something new every year. I love it.