u pick

While in Michigan last week, Niel and I went to an apple orchard with a friend (who, because of her twitching eye, shall remain nameless). It was a blast! I hadn't been apple picking since I was a child, and Niel hadn't been since...well, forever. We couldn't help but chuckle at (and mock) the sign that said:

$100 fine for apple throwing!

Are they serious?! Being unsure of their definition of "throwing", we tread delicately on the fine line between dropping violently and actually throwing. I think Karen (oops! no longer nameless!) may have unintentionally thrown an apple. (Pay up, lady!)

Of course, all the best-looking apples were high off the ground, far beyond the reach of us ladies. We kept pointing them out to Niel so he could get them. He finally hoisted me up so I could grab some on my own.


Living in Africa where we have no autumn to speak of, I love being in the States in the fall. Being out apple-picking on a brisk day was a perfect way to embrace the autumn. Back at Karen's that evening, we even made an apple crisp with our freshly-picked apples. Nothing is better than that! I love apple desserts...and since raisins are added to any apple dessert in South Africa (to which I just have to ask, Why?), I eat apple-anything every chance I get here in the States. Being able to make--and eat--apple crisp with my new friend was a real treat!

One of my mom's favorite childhood pictures of me was from a family apple-picking trip upstate NY. I'm standing in front of a tree, with a green jacket on (if I remember correctly), and I'm holding up a perfect apple which I look so proud to have picked. My joy is evident in my chubby, round face and scrunched up shoulders.

Since it was my first time to be apple picking again, I took another memorable picture for my mom...

It's not nearly as cute when I'm 28 as it was when I was 6!