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Topic: Fruit (10/10/05)
By Paul McKinley
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With a population of eight hundred and seventy six, including the firehouse mascot, Danny, a forty pound basset hound, Summerset was a quiet but friendly community. Every Friday morning at eight Henry would drive himself to town to do his weekly errands. This time of year is overly busy for Henry as he would bring along several bushels of ripe red apples he had collected throughout the week in his orchard to sell to Mr. Gallerger, the local grocer. With a few essentials and a drive to the Summerset bank Henry would drive the twenty minutes back to his farm.
This morning however was different as Henry would not be driving into Summerset to sell the apples he had collected throughout the week. Today Henry is receiving a visitor. The wooden bird emerges from its hiding and sounds one coo-coo. Six-thirty and Henry is slipping on his jacket while stepping out the back pantry as the orchard lay before him. The scent of apples now linger upon the cool morning breeze ignites fond memories of times past. Henry is reminded of that encounter when he first saw her. “It seems like yesterday,” he trembles as soft spoken words were barely audible. She was more beautiful than he had ever seen before and it was there he fell in love with her. A few hundred yards to go as Henry anticipates memories longing.
Approaching the grand old tree standing forty feet high, and at fifty-two years old, still grows the best apples in the orchard. A beach had been set near the trunk where Henry makes his way and settles down. Memories flood his soul. “It was here, Katherine,” Henry spoke, “where we first met fifty-one years ago under this apple tree.” “We shared our first fruit, the first of many of which you have so blessed me for many years that followed,” Henry sighed with a smile as he gazed toward the much fruit upon the branches before him. “We were married this very day fifty years ago under this old tree and I sure do miss you,” Henry’s voice was shaking, “And though God thought it best to take you and little Jess home that day, as it was too much for the both of you, God has also seen fit to remind me of the fruitful life we once shared when every year I sit here before this old fruit tree. I love you Katherine, happy anniversary.
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