Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A is for Apple

The apples trees up on the Crowe had been planted years earlier. We used to climb them. These days I'd worry more about knocking their dry bluish white moss/lichen off them or their just giving up the ghost and snapping. Climbing these trees I used to think they had to be related to roses what with their knobby thorns that broke off, marking your climb.


We had a potato piece with the apples off to the sides up on the hill shared by my aunts and uncles. I'd always thought that potatoes were something you grew with other families and that everything else you did yourself. Now there is no shared piece. The families do their own thing, grow their own things or buy them.

I didn't like working on the potatoes. It was so dry. There'd be us kids who'd walk along the dusty hills scouting the leaves for the nefarious speckle-shelled potato bug and then plinking them into a coffee can. The rows seemed to go on forever and it was thirsty. You don't plant potatoes in the shade.

The piece was along a stone wall, it's largely overgrown by trees now. It's the same wall where three years ago when the weather was so warm that instead of going out hunting I went out with a chainsaw and an over/under (just in case). Of course I saw a deer then. By the time I'd set the chainsaw down the bouncing white tail was out of sight.

We used to ride up to the potato piece on a wooden trailer towed by Uncle Elvin's tractor. You couldn't get there in a car - the road wasn't very accommodating that way.

After we'd worked in the potato piece we kids would climb the trees. Cousin Bucky and I would climb up into the apple trees, we'd eat the apples, mainly light green-skinned and sour - I know of stomach aches. Mom would make pies, the apples would fill the two crisper drawers of the fridge, she would cut them up and freeze them into bags she kept in the fridge in the cellar.

Not all apples were destined for pies - my cousins, brother and I would find saplings and use them to launch apples. Every time I see the sticks people use to throw tennis balls a long ways for their dogs I'm reminded of launching apples.

6 comments:

Melissa said...

Welcome to the blogosphere Frisael -
I enjoyed your wandering tale of potatoes apples and family, thank you....
but...
What's an over-under? and what does it have to do with a little white-tailed deer?

Frisael said...

Thank you, good to be here.
An over-under is a rifle/shotgun combo (a .270/20 gauge that my grandpa owned in this case), not the type of gun you'd ordinarily carry when you're hunting. It gives you the feeling you might have a shot (deer or ruffed grouse) if you ever saw something.

Melissa said...

"if you ever saw something" seems to be pretty easily controlled by being very focused on potato protecting or apple launching...

Frisael said...

I realize now that I had been writing about a specific location and time of year and that when I talked about the overunder the place was the same but the time of year wasn't. When I went walking out with that chainsaw and and overunder it was November. Everything else was in summer or early fall. That November three years ago, the potato piece was a long field overgrown with brush and any apples would have been lying on the ground, soon to be consumed or shriveled up and clinging to the trees. Still, it would have been hard for me to miss seeing that deer. He/she (was so fast couldn't tell if there were antlers or not) was just behind the spot in the stone wall I was walking to.

Greg said...

I add my welcome to Melissa's!

What great memories. Nothing like watching that shotgun blast of the white-tail's power exploding when they make their move.

Frisael said...

The over/under was a 222/20 gauge.