10 October 1996
With each bump in the winding road we leap in tandem with the ladders and buckets in the bed of Grandpa's old truck. I remember the day he bought this old thing. The salesman who sold it to him said it would run forever, and it has. The smell of country air fills the cab with thoughts of the last time I made this journey. It was twenty-four years ago, and I was barely tall enough to see over the dashboard. "Hey kiddo, have you ever been apple picking before?" "No," I said. "Well, pay attention 'cause you're about to learn a couple of secrets. First, it's all in the wrist. You've got to twist them off, not pull them. Otherwise, you'll get a face-full of branches. Second, stay away from the rotten ones, or you'll end up with a fist-full of applesauce. And lastly, but most importantly, do NOT drop them into the buckets, lay them down gently. Grandma refuses to make pies with bruised apples." "Okay," I said, trying to imagine what an apple with a black-eye would look like.
A crash from the buckets in back brings me back to the present just as a tiny voice beside me pleads, "Don't bruise the apples Daddy, Nana won't make any pies!"
1. 1966 GMC Pickup
2. Ramsey House Plantation, Knoxville, Tennessee
2. 19th Century Dutch Hand-Hammered Brass Pot
1. Martin Pierce Bronze Hedgerow Hardware
3. Bars Quilt Cupboard by Jim Rose, available at Ann Nathan Gallery
2. Ina Garten's Deep-Dish Apple Pie
1. L.L. Bean Braided Wool Rug
3. 19th Century Chinese Wooden Bowl, available at Pagoda Red