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They Deserve Warm Memories Too

Story ID:9366
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Family History
Location:Caldwell Idaho USA
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My mum woke me from a deep sleep. "Michael, it's five o'clock. It's time to
get up."

"Mum, it's still dark." I moaned.

"Michael, don't you remember? You're going with Sim to pick apples today."

In seconds, I went from sleep to excitement. I leapt from bed, rushed to brush my
teeth, dressed and ate my usual toast and peanut butter.

I had only a few minutes to run down the hill to my grandfather's house.

It was the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. My grandfather, Sim, always went
with his friend Les to the valley to pick apples on that weekend. Les' son, Craig, was
going too. Craig was my friend.

I was excited to be included in the adventure.

It was going to be a good day.

After several hours of driving in the dark, the sun finally turned the eastern
sky red, then pink and finally climbed above the horizon.

A mist hung over the valley. The trees, dotted with ripe apples, were ready to be

Les pulled the truck into the orchard, parked and we jumped out. The cold mist
chilled us to the bone.

Les and Sim pulled the barrels from the back of the truck. It was apple picking
"Boys!" Sim gave us directions, "You twist the apples from the tree and you
place them in the barrels carefully. If you drop them, they'll bruise and begin to rot.
The rot will spread. One bad apple will ruin a barrel."

Sim and Les reached for the apples high in the branches. Craig and I got the
lower ones.

The sun rose higher. The mist vanished and the chill in our bones disappeared.
Within hours our barrels were full.

Craig and I watched the men heave the barrels onto the bed of the truck.

It was time to head home, but my grandfather had a surprise. We stopped at
a restaurant where he bought me a Thanksgiving lunch - turkey with all the trimmings
filled my growling belly.

Tired and happy, I crawled into bed that night and slept soundly. The day was
over, but my love for my grandfather lives forever.

Forty five years later, the memory of that special day with my grandpa is still
bright in my memories.

I pray my grandchildren have the same memories of me.

They deserve warm memories too.

Michael T. Smith