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Unexpected apples

In the backyard of this house once stood a round arborvitae, much overgrown. Molly enjoyed mauling its lower branches in her early years, and a bad storm in 2007 smashed it flat in all four directions. That year we pulled it out and planted a flowering tree.

At least I thought it was a flowering tree. I tried to match another in the yard, the one with tiny hot pink buds that open into white flowers that fall like snowflakes in the early spring. Last year, its first spring, the new tree did just that, though the buds were less brilliant.

Apples from the backyard 003But this year…well, we got apples.

I didn't think you could get apples with only one tree. I've decided there must be another one somewhere in the neighborhood, close by, though the nearest one I've seen is three blocks away and the apples are smaller and are allowed to fall to the ground and rot there.

Today I'm eating an unexpected apple, cut into 12 pieces. I'm sharing them with Sam, not because it's a bad apple but because he woofs insistently when I leave them sitting on the plate. Such a waste, he says, mumma. Let's eat them!

I pass him another slice.

The apple is tart, but not too tart, crunchy and firm. Really quite delicious. Just the kind of apple I like, in fact. Since I didn't realize I was buying an apple tree, I didn't pay much attention to the name and have no idea of the variety.

When life brings unexpected apples, fruit where we expected only flowers or nothing at all, it feels important to pay attention, to savor the texture, to examine the shade of red, to feel the weight in one's hand, to consider the nature of the gift unsolicited.

Apples from the backyard 001 

(That's the one we're eating.)

10 thoughts on “Unexpected apples”

  1. That looks and sounds like an “http://adamapples.blogspot.com/2009/01/esopus-spitzenberg.html — Esopus Spitzenberg. I’ve heard of them (rumored to be Jefferson’s favorite apple), but never been fortunate enough to encounter one in person.
    I’m glad you’re enjoying it!

  2. Ummm. You ‘splained it so eloquently, I can taste it. Is this a case of “always expect the unexpected?”

  3. That sounds like just the kind of apple I like. A little tart, but not sour. To me the biggest misnomers are “Delicious Apples” and “Golden Delicious Apples.” Maybe my grandma poisoned my opinion of them, but they taste somewhat medicinal to me. So I always go for slightly tart apples.
    Enjoy your bountiful harvest!

  4. Lovely, lovely! Trying to remember which Thinker of Big Thoughts wrote about how the destructive power of all the nuclear warheads paled in the face of the creative, constructive, transformative power of a single apple.
    Regarding apple fertility– there are a few self-fertile varieties. Maybe you got one!
    If you look at the calendar on the MOFGA website (www.mofga.org), there’s an event called “The Great Maine Apple Day” with apple-identification experts, pie contests, and all kinds of apple-related workshops and fun.

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