Determined to one-up my applesauce performance, from last year, I made tentative plans to head to an apple farm outside of town and pick a bushel of my very own. My tentative plans were thrust into reality when a friend invited us to join her in a day of apple picking. Awesome! The fact that the apples were a) in town and b) free, made it all the more appealing.
But, I didn't exactly realize what I was getting myself into.
And what was I getting myself into, you ask?
UP. TO. MY. ARMPITS.
Before we could address the cooking and preparation of said apples, we had to pick them. The trees live in the front yard of a woman who works full time and hasn't the time or inclination to deal with ten gazillion pounds of apples. We were doing her a favor, as she was, us.
I'll admit that I had brain-pictures of a darling scene: me, basket in hand, casually reaching up, placing apples delicately into said basket. I reach to a grocery-store quality apple at shoulder height, I look at it, I smile. I gaze at my children, as they happily fill their baskets. We smile. We are grateful. Our lives, complete.
In reality, it was a ton of hard work. We picked by hand, picked with a telescoping picker, climbed the ladder to pick, shook the tree, gathered, and each of us were beaned in the head at least once. Then we gathered, cleaned and raked and gathered some more.
It was a long morning of work, but we came home with at least 100 pounds of free fruit! A blessing, and a lesson, and a day of hard work, all in one.