I always love it when my mother is laid off from work at the mill. I know it isn’t easy because we need the money, but it seems so nice to come home from school and find the house nice and warm. Today was an extra special day. As soon as we got near the door steps, I could smell something wonderful through the open kitchen door. The door would not be open, unless the kitchen was extra hot, so that must mean Ma is baking.
Right in the middle of the kitchen table is a big pile of nice warm donuts that are draining on some brown paper bags. The pot of grease is on the kitchen stove and Ma warns us to step back as she brings a long fork with two more donuts from the stove to the table. She wipes her forehead and says thank goodness that is the last of them. She says go ahead and have one each, but take them from the bottom of the pile or you’ll burn your mouth. Oh,they are so good! It is hard for Ma to do any baking or cooking because the counter space is so small. She must have put them together on the table and rolled them out there and cut them. These are the best donuts in the whole world and what a treat! I am surprised she is letting us have one with supper coming in an hour or so.
Rex and I still have to cut up some fire wood, but with the warm donut in our stomach, the chore doesn’t seem so hard today and the weather is so much nicer than in the middle of January when we are standing in snow!!
My Grandfather Martin has an apple tree just across the brook and it is full of apples. I asked Ma a couple days ago if they ever used the apples because I am dying to take one and see how it tastes. Ma , for some reason, can read my mind and she told me never to go near that apple tree unless Grampa says it is all right. Well, my grandfather is not the most friendly person in the world, I said to her, and she told me that was not nice to say. Today the sun is shining on that tree and the apples are glistening and I am going to get one. He will never miss one apple off a tree.
The wood box is full and Ma has put the donuts away and I feel this is the right time to get the apple. I know better, but I sneak across the brook and just hope that Grampa is not looking. Grammy would not say a word and probably smile, but he might shake his cane at me. I creep up to the tree and there, on a low branch , is one of the biggest apples and red as can be. I reach for it and out of nowhere, comes a bee and stings me on my lower lip. It really hurts and I run for the house. Shall I tell Ma ? I am in really hot water. The apple is still on the tree, so I didn’t take it, but still I was trying. My lip is getting bigger and bigger. Ma is peeling potatoes and looks at me. Young lady, what have you been into, she asks. When she says “young lady” I know I am in for it. I tell her the whole story and do you know what she says? I told you not to touch those apples and God decided it was time to teach you a lesson. Whoa! If God decided, I guess the apple will stay on that limb.
Oh, no, Dad is home and what is he going to say. Ma tells him in twenty five words or less what happened. He grins and says, oh, is that what happened? I thought you had a fight with Joe Louis. Ma says, is that all you have to say and he says, not much more I can say. But tell you what, tomorrow we will go on a back road and get you some apples. Ma says that is like rewarding bad behavior but we know she is anxious to have some apples for pies and apple goodie.
I didn’t sleep too well last night because my lip kept hurting, but today Dad is taking Curt and me on a back road to get some apples. We went there last year and it was wonderful. I think we go down to the road that leads to Irving Martin’s house, but I think Dad makes a left turn right away and I wonder if that is the road that eventually goes way to Rowe Hill or Sheepskin Bog. I can’t keep back roads straight. But up in there is a farm and no one lives on it. There are wild grape vines growing and Dad tells us that he thinks the grapes are pretty sour. But the apple trees. I have never, ever seen an apple so big in my life. Dad says they are Wolf Rivers…I don’t know..that is how it sounds when he says it..though it sounds more like wuffriver when he says it. I just know they are huge and seems like they are three times as big as any other apple I have ever seen. Last year we took some bags and filled them and had the best time ever.
Dad is calling now. He calls me Muff and when I was really little it was Muffett. When he calls, we scurry. So fat lip and all, I will get an apple.
I didn’t know Ma had a direct line to God. I am going to have to be very careful in the future.