Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
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Online Since 1999
“Can I have the apples
off your tree that you are not going to use?” asked the neighbor.
“Sure, you can have them all.”
I have an old apple tree in my yard. When I planted it, I didn’t know about
spraying, pruning, and thinning. I thought apples grew large and red, with wax
on them like the ones in the supermarket.
Through the years, the apple tree has become somewhat of an annoyance. The
apples fall on the ground and draw flies. Every year I have to rake up the mess.
I long ago gave up trying to take care of the tree. But the apple tree doesn’t
know this and it just keeps blooming and having fruit year after year.
The neighbor was picking apples to make applesauce for military families who are
on a small budget. Apparently, apples in the back yard are still a novelty to
some people. She had neighborhood kids all organized to help pick.
One day I drove up in the driveway and they were there with ladders and bags
swarming all over the tree. Oh, goody, they will pick them all and I won’t
have to rake! The apples are small, but otherwise in pretty good condition
considering they had no spray, fertilizer, or anything else.
In my younger and more ambitious days, I picked apples, made apple jelly and
even froze apples for later. Nowadays, apples pies and cobblers are too
fattening. I’m trying to diet.
So… the apples just hang on the tree until they fall. Last week I raked up
about five trash bags full that had fallen and spoiled. It was about 90 degrees
that day. I thought I would die of heat exhaustion before I finished.
The kids picked about a 100 pounds when they were here, but there were still a
lot of apples left. They are still falling, falling, like red hail. They keep on
falling, an avalanche of red balls, too much of a good thing.
As it turned out, the neighbor had more apples than she could use too. That
figures. You can only make so much applesauce, and coffeecake. The leftovers
ended up going to the local food bank.
Then they got the idea of picking more for the food bank. I applauded their
efforts and ambition and then hid behind the kitchen door.
Bushels more have fallen on the ground since I raked. I will have to go out
there this weekend and see what I can do about them.
Does anyone want apples? They are yours if you pick them.
That’s what I figured. I like the ones from the supermarket better too.
My cherry tree was the same way this year. We picked cherries until we could
pick no more. Still… most of them fell on the ground and rotted.
When I planted the tree, it seemed like such a good idea. Apples, jelly,
cobblers, pie, fried apples, apple sauce, apple cider.
Actually, I planted four trees. Thank goodness, only one thrived. If all had
lived and done as well as the one that is left, I’d be up to my chin in apples
instead of up to my knees.
I hope the kids come back soon to pick the pick the rest, or I may have to
declare a state of apple emergency. Nature's bounty is about to overwhelm me.
In the meantime, my daughter was going to the store for groceries. “Mom, do
you need anything?”
“Just milk and orange juice.”
“Don’t say that word out loud to me.”
Copyright 2008 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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