A very good friend sent me a link to an article in the Huffington post today, “10 Facts to impress your bored kid while apple picking this fall,” and I had to laugh. Not a very interesting article for many, but I do remember well and the article brought back some funny memories.
I am not sure about the exact definition of a tomboy, but I think I was one, when I was young. I wasn’t particularly fond of dolls and other typical girl stuff and I didn’t like to wear dresses or nice shoes…not that I had many. I was an outside kid, loved to play with others, but although enjoyed time alone. I liked books and loved to read, so whenever I could, I walked to my secret hiding place where I would read for hours. My secret hiding place was an old apple tree; high up there sitting in the branches I was almost invisible to the rest of the world. To the world, but not to my Grandmother, who always sensed where I was.
She always had a fit when she found me sitting in the tree again. “Girls don’t climb on trees like monkeys,” was her favorite statement and I always grinned, I liked monkeys. She made me come down and I often I finished the chapter sitting in the grass, leaning against the tree trunk.
“Climbing trees is dangerous”, she said and I knew she was right. I could fall down and hurt myself or worse. I understood what she was saying, but just couldn’t help it when I saw my tree. It was like a calling.
I got in trouble for climbing trees on a regular base, but every year in fall, that’s when a miracle happened and my Grandmother changed her mind.
Then she was eagerly waiting for me to come home from school on Friday, she stood there with two woven baskets and an old belt. I knew what that meant. All the rules would fly out of the window for a few days, because it was picking time.
The adults – the same adults who told us over and over that climbing on trees was dangerous – sent us kids up on the ladders, so that we could pick all the apples in our reach and my Grandmother was no exception.
She put the old belt around my waist and attached the two woven baskets to it, each on one side. “This way you have your hands free and you can pick faster,” she said, when I asked why I had to wear the belt.
I spend days up in the trees, loaded basket after basket full with apples and climbed the ladder up and down like a monkey, until there were no more apples left. I was always glad when Sunday came and I could go back to boarding school.
Years later, when I was adult I asked my Grandmother about her picking rules and she looked at me, her eyes were sparkling “I don’t remember that,” she said while she turned around and went back in her kitchen.
I knew she was laughing inside and so was I. “Picking time” that is one of the childhood memories that I treasure.
How much fun we had then~!
Scour the news for an entirely uninteresting story. Consider how it connects to your life. Write about that.