Sunday Lauren and I went apple picking at Lyon Orchards on Grover Hill Road in Bethel which is only 3 ½ miles from our house. It was an overcast and cool day which was perfect for apple picking. The Lyon Orchard is a picturesque place with rows of apple trees the follow the gentle slopes of the hillside. They have five varieties of apples; Cortland, Red Free, Macoun, Red Delicious, and Macintosh. What I noticed most was how healthy all of the apples looked and how so many were growing on each tree so close together. They were absolutely vibrant and we ended up picking 16 pounds of them for the two of us. When we returned home Lauren made what I believe was the most delicious apple pie I ever tasted. The crust didn’t come out picture perfect but I did not care because flavor trumps look any time. I came across this article written by Donald Bennett on the history of Lyon Orchards and Herbie Lyon; http://www.thebetheljournals.info/Names/Herb_Lyon.htm
This apple picking adventure reminded me of a time when I was nine or ten years old and my brother Erik who was six or seven were trying to pick some apples off of one of those old abandoned trees out in the field behind our house in Easton, Mass. The tree was big and overgrown while the apples were high and out of reach. My genius idea was to grab the steel rake, throw it up in the tree where the rake would get stuck on some branches and then with the long handle hanging down, grab hold of it and shake the living daylights out of the tree branch until the apples fell to the ground.
I remember telling my brother to stay the heck out of the way while I threw the rake up in the tree branch. The rake went up, hung on the branch for a brief second and then fell down; right on Erik’s head with at least one tine that poked into his head and another that poked right through his lip. I imagine that didn’t feel too good and he started to cry and bleed at the same time. I did what came natural to me at that age… I yelled at him. I yelled something like “You jerk…I told you to stay out of the way” and I’m sure that made him feel better. Yes, he needed some stitches which by this time were something my Mom was familiar with.
I feel bad about yelling at my brother that day, so Erik I’d liked to say I’m sorry for yelling at you then. I should have waited until after you had your stitches. J Hey I know why don’t you come up and visit soon and we can go apple-picking? Don’t worry, we don’t need a rake.