It’s only ten o’clock and the sun is already beating down on us. Why did I think it was a good idea to wear blue jeans? At least the three year old twins, I affectionately refer to as Thing 1 and Thing 2, are confined to the pumpkin cart Mom’s pulling. These must be the trees that the guy in the barn said could be picked. He said they’re called Arkansas Black and these are the darkest apples I’ve ever seen. Every year during apple season, I take the kids to get apples near Hendersonville. We always go to Grandad’s, but this year we’re changing it up. Mom joined us and she had a groupon for another place. The groupon was to pick the apples instead of buying what had already been picked. Sounds like something fun to do with the kids, right? After quickly explaining to the kids what kind of apples to pick and how to pull them from the tree, Thing one and Thing two shed the pumpkin cart and make a run for it. After chasing them for a while and then letting mom have a turn at it, I try to help my six and eight year olds. My six year old loves apples and loves to eat. We have to pay for these apples. As I, once again, open my mouth to tell her to stop eating, the Things come back with mom. “They’re yours now, Annie. I’m beat!”
“I think I’m just going to let them run around right here for a few minutes.”
“Keep an eye on them. There is a pond down there.”
I tried not to roll my eyes. I really did. Grandparents are so overly cautious. While they are running around, I pick up a bucket and start putting apples in it. I look up to check on the boys. They are gone. Where could they have gone, they were just here? Oh, no. Just as I start to panic, an apple flies out of the tree right in front of me. And then another. And another. Almost as soon as that tree starts throwing apples, the tree directly across from it starts throwing apples. For just a second, I feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. I think I can even see an angry face in the tree. Wait, I really see a face and it isn’t angry. And there it is. Laughter. Coming from both trees. I go to the first tree and pull down one kid while my mom goes to the other tree and pulls down the other kid. By this time, my other two kids see what’s happening and are laughing uncontrollably, which only fuels the twins into laughing more (and ultimately reinforcing their bad behavior). The entire time, I’m shaking my head and trying, really hard, not to laugh. My mom just shakes her head and says, “What are you going to do with them?” Like I know….
We didn’t finish apple picking. Instead, we went back to the barn and purchased what they had already picked.
Dorothy is not the only one who no longer picks apples.