Monday, November 20, 2006

Gnarled and knotty

I picked two apples yesterday from my grandparents' apple tree; there were more, but I picked only what was within arm's reach from the ground. Starbeans and I ate one of them, my grandparents shared the other. My grandpa chomped on a slice of it while my grandma ate hers like an orange wedge, leaving the peel on her plate.

The apples were big, juicy, and crisp: pleasantly sweet with greenish-yellow skin and a hint of red. My mom thought they may be "King" apples (perhaps Tompkins King?).

My grandparents live in the house his dad built from scrap lumber when he was in high school, replacing the original house. It is located on the original homestead of his mother's father, on a flood plain in a river valley. The Stilliguamish river flows a mile or so from their house. (I have many memories of their flooded basement and fields-turned-lake.)

The apple tree was planted when my grandpa was in grade school: we ate the fruit of an 80 year old tree. It is gnarled and covered with lichens and moss. Even the twigs that the apples grow off of look ancient: thick and knotty like an old man's knuckles, instead of smooth and new.

I like knowing that such an old tree can produce such lovely fruit. It is also interesting to think about how many generations have eaten and used the apples: my guess is five - Starbeans, me & my siblings, my parents, my grandparents, and my great-grandparents.

Someday, I'll have my own apple tree...

1 comment:

purplekanga said...

I love apple trees, and apples. I think that's the thing I miss most because of Baby E's allergies. Who ever is allergic to apples???