They discovered that the old apple tree growing on the other side of the creek had a host of fruit. Small, but with that Granny-Smith kind of bite.
"These are good! Let's get a basket so we can have them for snacks!" says the elder, bubbling over with excitement.
"Yah!" says the younger, "Les get baskit!"
We pick a couple of dozen. Correction: I pick a couple of dozen, while the other two argue over the basket, eat the proceeds, and get distracted, all in thirty-second cycles.
She lets out a gasp. "Daddy! Look! There's another one up there!"
It's true. Our property used to host a whole orchard of apple trees. It still does, technically. But they've gone untended so long, no orchard would want them.
"Where?" says the younger.
"See, up there? With the red apples on it. Daddy, let's go up there!"
"You do realize that means we have to cut a path through the weeds." Moment of diabolical parental anticipation: I had been procrastinating on hacking my way to that very tree earlier this week.
"Let's go get the tools!" says the elder.
"Me too!" says the younger.
An hour later, we're half way there:
Burdock, it turns out, is a fascinating opponent in a first-grader's summer imagination. We have to hack through a great deal of it. One would think we were slaying dragons.
Another hour later, and we've been to the Red Apple Tree. (And we have found the other two Green Apple Trees right next to it.) These are sweeter, more of a Fuji or Gala. Perfect for "ruining one's dinner," as we often say:
When one has a belly full of wild apples, there is no better activity than digging in Daddy's Bridge Renovation Site. After a lesson in not sitting where someone else's shovel is flinging (bloody nose), seats are found side-by-side. And there is silence in the yard for a whole fifteen minutes:
"No work today," my calendar said. Sabbath.
The sweat in my clothes begs to differ. It can beg away, though--because labor this fun can't count as work.