"Every thought is a seed. If you plant crab apples, don't count on harvesting Golden Delicious." ~Bill Meyer
I cut a slice of apple and bite into it and it is so crunchy that the little dog- who is going deaf- comes marching in, looking at me expectantly. He too is an apple lover. I share, a tiny chunk for him and a big wedge for me. Isn't it marvelous how nature has us leave the core alone, seeds safe and undigested, in order to make more trees? How many tree's and then apples come from a single apple seed, we wonder together. It seems like if we ponder that we will learn something about abundance.
I love fall and paper bags of apples from the local farm. A slice of apple with peanut butter on it is such a great lunch. I read yesterday that prior to prohibition more apples were made into cider than actually eaten. Cider then was always "hard" because they did not have refrigeration to keep it sweet. It was what "cider" was. The label "hard" cider is a more modern term. My Grandma Goff did not drink the "hard cider" cider; instead she made the best apple pie ever for her whole life. She made it at least weekly, even throughout the summer at the beach cottage, until she was in her 80's. We always had apple pie made fresh on Saturdays. I would get to use her leftover pie crust to make and bake little cinnamon sugar pinwheels. My Grandpa ate his apple pie with a slice of cheddar cheese. When Grandma made her "last pie" we were unaware it would be her last, so we ate it without any extra celebration. That is so true about so many things in life. You notice it when it is missing, not when you have it. We would have dressed in our best and ooh'd and ahhh'd had we known. Not a single selfie was ever taken with Grandma's magnificent pie, even a kodak or polaroid one. The pie lives in our hearts alone, perhaps an even more noble end.
Vera Nazarian said, "When bobbing for apples, an idealist endlessly reaches for the best apple, a pessimist settles for the first one within reach, while an optimist drains the barrel, fishes out all the apples and makes pie." I would agree that my grandmother was mostly optimistic.
I hope all the children in our cities when they are still little enough to notice everything and old enough to remember it all are taken on a journey to meet a tree that will give them an apple. It should be a standard part of education. The apple tree should be surrounded by tree friends and hay wagons and pumpkin patches and banjo-fiddle music. Square dancing. Start them off with fresh apples when they are little.
From Rodman Philbrick, The Last Book in the Universe:
"Bean finds the best apple in our tree and hands it up to me. "You know what this tastes like when you first bite into it?" she asks.
"You ever eat blue sky?"
"No," I admit.
"Try it sometime," she says. "It's apple-flavored."
And that is perhaps the most eloquent nod towards the apple. May the apples you meet this fall remind you of wonderful things.
My Grandmother, Beatrice Goff made the apple pies for my grandfather, Laurence Goff
"I did a gig at a comedy club in Bournemouth where they served a buffet while the acts were on. There was the clang of people carving turkey during the set. If you put comedy and turkey side by side, turkey always wins."
What are you planning for the holidays?
I was saying the other day to my husband that our high holy days were approaching... The fall, the colors, the coolness, the change in food, the first snowfall, the planning of Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is fun to remember great gatherings and quiet moments together we have had in the past and delightfully and deliciously anticipate.
Some of us have a negative event that, being human, we replay over and over. It becomes our "go to memory" out of negligence almost, it is such human nature to pay attention to the bad! So while it is still September maybe make a conscious effort to think about tiny little moments of happy holiday times and see if you can build on that this year. When did it go really well, what was different? And then plan on watering those thoughts, making plans like THAT. Appreciating what went well before and making efforts to have more of that is called "Appreciative Inquiry" and it is a wonderful way to look at all aspects of your life.
My Johnny K makes the best turkey ever and for a few years in a row we have had the tiniest little Thanksgiving with just us and my mother-in-law. This was a conscious adjustment though, as we were used to enjoying a big event with family and friends all around. At some point we made a decision to enjoy it more, rather than focus on what we were missing. Now we go full out from start to finish with little traditions the 3 of us have established. From sun up to sun down we have a lovely lazy day of enjoying each other with a walk outside in the afternoon down the gorgeous country road. If you are dreading the holidays ahead for some reason, please think now about what would most please you this year, and choose differently. Make a new tradition. Permission to choose something new and different! Lay the groundwork now so that other people can adjust. Your turkey day should be a winner for you. Your whole life should be a winner for YOU.
Melissa Regan is a Storyteller who is honored to celebrate the life you live and the people you love. She partners with individuals at significant times of life and loss, supporting them by creating and presenting their loved ones story at a service or by planning an inspirational day of rememberance and reflection.
Melissa spent time as a critical care nurse before she became specialized in the field of organ donation. Melissa was well known for the care she gave grieving families and did this delicate work for 14 years. Her experience lead to her teaching heartfelt methods of communication to donation specialists around the world.
Inspired by everything these families taught her, she expanded her perspective on life by studying Positive Psychology, earning both a CiPP and a CAPP. She received training as an end of life doula through INELDA. She has a special grace all her own when it comes to supporting us at times of change and loss.
Melissa is a wife, mother, lifelong learner, and a lover of the wonder you can find in a single moment. She brings this wonder to her public speaking, connecting us to the grandness and depth always present in the day to day.
“Take a day to be thoughtful... the rest of your life is here.”