Strange how things – often in an unusual way – manage to come full circle.
This particular ‘thing’ just made sense to me during the past few days, and in a most unusual place … an elementary school.
Many readers of this column have been following the preparations for my daughter Ally’s wedding; several of you have asked me about the plans and how things are going when we see each other out and about. Now, it is less than a month away and yes, my outfit has been purchased and approved of by the bride-to-be, right down to the heels. Of course they’re not the stiletto type – I don’t want to break an ankle walking her down the aisle – but a more sensible style called a Cuban heel that gives me about two extra inches in height.
To answer a question that has been posed many times; no, I didn’t get a dress. I had prior approval to look for something else and found some black dress slacks and a pretty burgundy blouse, to match the wedding color scheme. And a black cardigan in case it gets cold once the ceremony is over since we will be outside for both the wedding and reception.
But none of that is really what I am thinking about.
Nope, it’s all about apples.
I have been craving apples for the last couple of months. They have become a staple, eating one almost every day. It doesn’t have anything to do with the ‘keep the doctor away’ thing either, it’s just that for some reason I have been craving them. At first I thought it’s just the time of year; it is fall, after all, and apples are a reminder of home. We had orchards all around us where we lived in upstate New York; there were also apple trees that grew in the field across the road and my brother and I often just went and picked one. Small, tart apples that you could eat whenever you wanted. Free range apples, no need to wash away any pesticides. Some other friends had an orchard on their property and it was easy to go pick a fresh Northern Spy for an after school snack.
But it did strike me as a little odd, this all of a sudden craving. Am I missing some nutrient that apples have an abundance of? Are there some vitamins I am lacking?
I take a multi-vitamin; shouldn’t be craving apples for that reason.
Then it hit me.
When I was pregnant with Ally, there was no pickles and ice cream combination, no weird sandwich I craved in the middle of the night. Nope, it was apples. I had to have apples, especially in the second and third trimesters. It was so apparent that when there was a baby shower hosted by my co-workers at what was then The Nutcracker (now Firenze) they made sure to have several apple-themed dishes available for me.
Ironic that Ally isn’t much of an apple fan. She can tolerate them and does like cinnamon applesauce on occasion – such as when all four wisdom teeth got pulled – but she apparently got plenty of fiber and Vitamin C in the womb and doesn’t feel the need to eat apples much anymore.
It was while I was covering the first ever ‘Apple Fest’ recently at Dent Elementary School that things became clear. There were apple taste tests, painting with apples, making caramel apples, apple relay races, pretty much anything you could do with an apple, they did. It was designed for the TK and Kindergarten kids and that’s when it hit me.
My craving for apples isn’t about what vitamin or nutrient I might need. It isn’t about enjoying the taste and texture of fall. Apples equate to when it was just Ally and I, me and my baby before she drew her first breath in the outside world.
It’s simply all about wanting to hang on to my little girl for just a while longer.
But little girls grow up.
Mine has become a beautiful, caring young woman who makes me proud to be her mom and is ready to start one of the biggest adventures of her life. Less than a month away … the countdown is on.
Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times, The Oakdale Leader and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.