When I was in the fourth and fifth grades, my family lived in Peru, Indiana. We lived at the end of a cul-de-sac in a house with a very large yard. At least that is my 10 year old girl view of the yard. I remember cutting the grass with a push mower and, to me, that yard was huge. One time when my grandparents were visiting, I was cutting the grass, no doubt looking very pitiful. My granddad felt sorry for me and took over the job. I'll never forget his kindness because I felt very loved when he took the handle of that lawnmower.
In that Indiana yard was a crabapple tree. And a cherry tree.
One year I helped pick the cherries and pit them. I became obsessed with getting all of those cherries pitted and worked non-stop to do it. My fingers turned into shriveled-up little stubs. That's the way I was as a child. Now, I have learned to take breaks. Long breaks and rests.
I don't remember what Mom did with all the cherries, but I do remember what she did with the crabapples. She made jelly. Even as a young girl that jelly was pretty to me. I always thought I would have my own crabapple tree and make jelly, but 40 years later, I still haven't done it.
My parents live in Oklahoma now, and they still have a crabapple tree. Last week it was in full bloom. Even if you never made jelly, the beauty of the blooms make the tree worth having.
At about the time that I obsessed about things like cherry pits I toyed with the idea of joining the circus and being a triple trapeze performer. I was an odd little child.