Applesauce v. Knitter


It is the time of year when apples simply drop off trees, like raindrops in falling from the sky in spring. I swore to myself I would ignore this phenomenon. Pretend it wasn’t happening. No need for apple preservation here. None. Zilch. I’d rather be knitting.

There’s still plenty of applesauce canned up from last year. No pressing need for more. Supply is less than demand. And sure, I could probably be dehydrating them. We have the world’s largest food dehydrator tucked into the hall closet. I am pretending it is broken even though it works just fine.

Seeing those laden branches drooping with perfect fruit…not even wormy this year…well, it just struck an inner cord. How could one let those perfect apples simply drop to the earth and rot, accompanied only by worms? A thought too tragic to entertain for long.

Before I knew it, the orchard ladder was up, much to Reed’s delight. He is overjoyed by any opportunity to encounter danger, cause me stress, and, well, climb. One after one, the wagon was loaded with bounty from the abandoned tree next door. Me picking, handing the apples down to Reed. Reed hurling them into the wagon despite my admonitions about bruising fruit. Then it was Reed picking. Me holding Reed, clinging to him as if I might possibly succeed in keeping small forever.

I ignored the full wagon for a few days on the back deck. Yes, they were picked, but preserve them I would not. I hope and prayed they would be abducted by space aliens. The whole lot of them. Apple-eating space aliens. The universe is so vast. Surely there is such a creature. Alas. No luck. I watched them out the window with disdain as I knit on. Undeterred.

Reed caught me off guard yesterday. Let’s pick more apples, mama. Really he just wanted to climb the ladder. Such a daredevil. Always seeking a thrill. Do little girls do this also?

I told him the truth: we can’t pick more apples until we deal with the ones we already have.

The peeling device was retrieved from deep within the cupboard, untouched since last fall. Cinnamon was put on notice. The bowls were set out–one for finished fruit and the other for peels and cores. Instructions were provided as to which was which. The large pot placed just so upon the back burner.

With great importance, Reed plopped the apples onto the kitchen table and turned the handle on the peeler ever so slowly, his little muscles not quite up to the test. Eventually he grew weary and wandered off to build with blocks, leaving ol’ mom to finish the job.

The applesauce is done now. It accompanies the remaining jars from last year’s effort. They are together, like lovers reunited from previous lives.

I like to think of myself as a knitter. But really I am just me. Picker of apples. Mother of a small child. Cleaner of messes. I find myself particularly sleep deprived today (another tale altogether). As I ponder which knitting project to pursue during this precious window of napping, I ignore the one I know I should finish and pick the easy one. The simple sock, heal already turned, gussets reduced…awaiting a few inches worked in the round without reducing or increasing. No counting. Just knitting.

Something I can do lying down on the sofa while watching House of Cards.

Knitters have suffered worse fates yet.

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