Back Around the House II: The annual trek to the apple orchard


‘Tis the season of pumpkins and apples. This means it is the season for the little ones to make their annual trek to the apple orchard to pick out their Halloween pumpkins.

Unfortunately it has also been the monsoon season in our part of the world this month. This means the paths in the pumpkin patches have been really muddy.

But this is not a problem. All the schools have to do is call the pumpkin farm and ask if the paths are passable. One school did this. They were told the paths were fine. But this was at eight o’clock in the morning.

By the time the bus loads of little ones arrived, two other bus loads had picked pumpkins.

One mother sized up the situation very quickly and suggested the farmer bring the pumpkins to the kids. Too late. The kids were already running for the pumpkins.

Well, they ran for a few seconds.

A panicked scream came from the head of the line. A mother ran to the little girl who couldn’t even talk. The problem? The mud had both of the girl’s shoes in a death grip. Attempts to lift her feet out must buried them in deeper.

Good thing mothers are the ultimate in resourceful people. Mom told the child to uncurl her toes. The child said the mud would eat her shoes. The mom said, “I’m going to pull you our then go back for your shoes.”

By this time several adults were in the field pulling kids to safety or mucking in the mud to locate lost shoes.

Children who had been pulled out and laced back into their shoes were ordered to stay in the wagon while the adults went after other kids and/or shoes. One mom was reaching for a mired preschooler when something bumped her from behind. Behind her stood the kid she had just laced up. He smiled and said, “I’ll help you.”

By final count only one shoe was lost, but many kids returned to school with plastic bags on their feet, and mud clear up beyond their knees.

Now, if you think this trip was a panic, you should have seen the school custodian when he saw the mess.

One little boy’s opinion summed it up for the kids, “That was fun, can we do it again next year?

I remember chaperoning the kindergarten kids to the apple orchard many years ago. It was always a fun trip. But we didn’t do pumpkins back then.

One time a venerable old gentleman was at the orchard when we arrived. He didn’t seem to notice the children. He was watching the sky. Finally he very soberly told me, “Rain tomorrow.”

Absolutely certain I was going to learn some really valuable ancient weather lore, I asked, “How do you know?”

“Look at those jet trails in the sky,” he explained.

Another time at the end of the tour, the children were taken to a very special tree in the orchard, “This tree has every kind of apple you can imagine on it,” the owner told the children. To the adults he elaborated, “We have grafted all kinds of apples onto this one tree.”

One by one the children would point to the apple of their choice and the man would pick it off the tree for the child until only one child was left without an apple.

Finally the farmer said, “Any kind of apple you want is up there.”

“Huh-uh,” answered the very serious little one, still looking hopefully at the tree.

“What kind do you want?” he asked.

“I want a peeled one,” she said sadly.

By Kathleen Floyd

Back Around the House II

Kathleen Floyd is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her column Back Around the House II. She can be reached at [email protected]. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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