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The Apple Orchard

apples.jpg

When I was growing up I lived practically kiddy corner from a 50-tree apple orchard. The orchard really wasn’t tended and the neighborhood kids had free reign over the orchard, its trees, and, most importantly, the apples.

In the summer we would spend hours in the orchard playing games and eating apples. Although the trees weren’t really taken care of, they still produced some pretty good apples and it was nice to be able to pick off an apple from a tree and bury your teeth into that juicy, crunchy fruit. Birds would also enjoy the fallen fruit and it was funny seeing drunk birds who had imbibed on too many apples fermenting in the sun. Being boys, apples also made perfect missiles and there is nothing better than hitting someone with a rotten, soft apple that’s been baking in the sun for months. Firecrackers put into apples and tossed also make quite an effective weapon. In the fall we would have epic apple wars which would leave the entire neighborhood covered in smelly, smashed rotten apples. If it was warm enough, the apple stench would last for days.

That apple orchard really represented the carefree days of youth and after my brother died, I found myself walking through the apple orchard once again. I was 23 at the time and it had probably been 5 years since I was last in the orchard. I was inextricably drawn to the orchard, probably trying to recapture that youthful innocence that had been shattered that terrible day. I didn’t know what I would find there but it was a comforting place, even if it was for a moment.

Today the apple orchard is gone. A fence has gone up around it and houses sit where apple trees used to dislodge their fruit. I don’t know exactly when it happened and glad that I wasn’t around to see them go. Living in the city, my kids and their friends don’t have a place like an apple orchard to spend countless hours and I am not sure their mothers would let them if they did. Which is too bad. Kids need a place where they can go without adult supervision, where fruit, and all that it represents, is just there for the picking.

Comments

I remember the apple orchard. Fond memories of a swing they had on one of the trees and playing hide and seek in the orchard. It seemed like it streched for miles. Picking a nice big ripe apple off the tree. Those apples were sweet and tart. I also remember all the parties that happened in that apple orchard. I feel sorry for the kids that live in that neighborhood now, not having the apple orchard to play in, or the tree fort in the woods like we had growing up. Kids don't go outside and play anymore unless we push them and lock the door behind them so they can't get back in.

That was nice Free. I had a place like this growing up too. One thing that struck me about your piece was the fact that we over supervise our kids these days. We need to let them just get out and explore without us hovering over them all the time.

I had a river going through my small town. I played on the banks of that river every day. Good times.

What!! You played at the river!?!! But what if you fell in? Was it safe? Did you have a flotation device or something handy to fish you out if you fell in? What about pollution? Do you know how clean that water was? Did you shower after playing in the river?

I didn't know you were so reckless Shane, I sure hope you take better care of your own kids!!!!

:o)

nice one alonzo. we had the trails; motorcycle paths cut around and thru a farmer's field. it is a place where we spent many a summer day riding bikes, building tree forts, exploring, burning and blowing up models. it is also a place where the hippy teenagers would go to hang out, smoke dope, and drink. we once spied on a couple of hippies making love. later it was a place where my friends and i experimented with cigarettes. we were cool. sadly, like your beloved apple orchard, the farmer sold the property to developers and there is now a lovely housing development.

nice one alonzo. we had the trails; motorcycle paths cut around and thru a farmer's field. it is a place where we spent many a summer day riding bikes, building tree forts, exploring, burning and blowing up models. it is also a place where the hippy teenagers would go to hang out, smoke dope, and drink. we once spied on a couple of hippies making love. later it was a place where my friends and i experimented with cigarettes. we were cool. sadly, like your beloved apple orchard, the farmer sold the property to developers and there is now a lovely housing development.

nice one alonzo. we had the trails; motorcycle paths cut around and thru a farmer's field. it is a place where we spent many a summer day riding bikes, building tree forts, exploring, burning and blowing up models. it is also a place where the hippy teenagers would go to hang out, smoke dope, and drink. we once spied on a couple of hippies making love. later it was a place where my friends and i experimented with cigarettes. we were cool. sadly, like your beloved apple orchard, the farmer sold the property to developers and there is now a lovely housing development.

I want to use this picture for a poster. Is that possible?

Hey Maggie, it's not my picture to give permission. I found it through google. Sorry.

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