Anyway, Paul and I each took a student out to tables in the hallway to test them on the various topics. After about 20 minutes of testing and rotating through students, I overheard Paul with a new student, a little girl, down the hallway. The little girl was singing through the days of the week for him and he was struggling not to laugh. I could tell because he was making a silent wheezing noise that is his old man laugh. I don't think the little girl noticed because she was so focused on her song. It was awesome and we had a great time with those kids.
Also, today I climbed a tree - two actually. Leaves. Branches. And me. Not that I was up high or anything - they were just a couple of apple trees, but still. When was the last time you climbed a tree? It has been years for me. Maybe since I fell out of one at my grandma's house in Texas when I was a kid. Or since I ran off with my friend Jenny Wood in second grade to hide in a tree after eating half a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough while my mother was out of the room. I'm not a very competent tree-climber and I'm certainly not as agile as I used to be. Or maybe its just that proportionally trees are smaller now than they used to be and that makes getting good footholds and balancing on thin branches more difficult. But gosh it felt really good to climb those trees. Freeing and fresh.
We went down to Orem to help Paul's brother with some painting on the house he is remodeling, and I saw that his apple trees were pretty loaded down. So I offered to pick the apples and use them since Paul's brother and sister-in-law still haven't put in their kitchen and the apples were just going to go to waste. There is something so sad about letting all those beautiful apples rot on the tree and I just couldn't stand the thought. Dave said "sure", so Paul brought out a ladder for me to climb up to pick the apples, but that just wasn't working - I couldn't get high enough, and a lot of the lower apples had been pecked at by birds, so I ended up balancing on the thin upper tree limbs to harvest the fruit. Is it still a harvest when you didn't do any of the planting and nurturing?
I ended up with two very full bags of sweet apples - maybe 15-20 pounds I'm guessing. They made our car smell so good for the drive home and they are already making my parent's kitchen all apple-scented delicious, and they haven't even been cooked.
Now I'm not sure what to do with them. I have a slightly crazy inclination to try bottling apple pie filling and giving it away as Christmas gifts, but I'm super intimidated by that notion. I've never tried anything like that and I'm not sure I really care enough. But then, I can't often resist a challenge, can I?