Love, “Button” (2/10)


I could hardly contain my delight at finding the book Apple Picking Time by Michele Benoit Slawson. [review]

The smell of cinnamon and apples actually  began to fill my senses.  I closed my eyes after reading and began to reminisce at the sweet memories of my own childhood; of our own family “apple picking time.”   Also, memories of the old crab-apple tree in our backyard and mom’s delicious applesauce from those apples – but only after some often hilarious adventures of me and my sisters picking those apples!

Heritage 2 Legacy

a Fireflies’ storytelling project

Crab-apple Catastrophe

September was a month of transition at our house when I was growing up. Living in Iowa, we knew the lovely autumn breezes would soon be replaced with the biting winds of winter.  Mom began by making sure our winter coats still fit from last year.  If not, it was “hand-me-down” time with the oldest getting a new coat.  Daddy put the lawn mower at the back of the garage, wound up the garden hoses and hung up the rakes.  For anyone who has ever lived in a house over 50 years old or who is over 50 years old will understand when I say that he also spent days putting storm windows on all of the windows of our house to  protect us from impending winter weather.  Then down into the basement daddy would venture to hunt for the snow shovels. After much searching they were usually found behind the Christmas ornament boxes.  “Who put them there?” he would holler to no one in particular.  The shovels were then put on the back porch in preparation for the first snowfall.

Now there was just one task left – the task that was our favorite. In the backyard was an old but well-loved crab-apple tree.  Mom’s “waste-not, want-not” attitude meant that we must make sure every last crab-apple was plucked from that tree before the first frost came.  My two sisters and I had been climbing that tree and eating those apples all during late summer, but we knew the best was coming.  For now Mom would be making crab-apple jelly with the remaining apples.   Just as  the three of us climbed up in the tree, my Aunt Sally happened by.   Not to be outdone, she was soon up in the gnarly branches with us, picking and tossing apples to the ground.  Of course it became a game as to who could pick the fastest and amidst the frivolity, Aunt Sally reached a little too far, slipped,  and tumbled out of the tree.   We all gasped as we stared at her lying among a pile of apples under the tree.  In a moment she looked up at us, picked a few leaves from her hair and mumbled, “You can stop staring, I’m okay.”  Instantly, my sisters and I broke up laughing at what a sight she had been – slipping and sliding through the branches.  Not amused, Aunt Sally marched, with a slight limp, into the house.

Who hasn’t enjoyed the delicious treat of warm,  salty, baked pumpkin seeds?  And how many autumns have we spent baking pumpkin bread and sipping hot apple cider?  Along with enjoying these yummy treats this year,  more than anything I will enjoy making a phone call to my now 80-year-old Aunt Sally, who still lives in Iowa.  I’ll be asking her if she’s had any good crab-apple jelly lately.   And I’ll bet she laughs with me!


Begin your own storytelling legacy
Story #2

Now it’s your turn.  If you are a parent and/or grandparent, we invite you to capture a moment from your past and continue your own storytelling legacy!   Maybe there is a special someone in your family you want to encourage to become the family storyteller.  Why not download this FLYER, and invite them to join us on our 2016-17 family legacy adventure?

Here are some prompts that go along with this month’s theme.   Read one of the books on our Booklist and then think about a story from your past that you can write down and/or record. 

Hopefully these questions will help you get started:

  • Did you have a fruit tree in your yard, or in the yard of a family member?
  • Do you have any family memories that center around picking fruit – or making something with fruit?
    (Baking an apple pie, canning sliced apples, cooking applesauce, etc.)
  • When you read a book about  apples or doing things together as a family, does a special person come to mind?  Do you have a picture of that person or that special place?  Tell about what made that so special in your life. 
  • Think of a memory that is associated with the smell, touch, feel, look, or sound of fall – and share it.   Don’t overthink it.  Just capture it.  You can decide later if it becomes a part of your 2016 – 17 Legacy Storytelling Set.  

Be sure to let us know if you are joining us.  We are creating a closed FB group for all family storytellers, so that we may encourage and communicate more personally with each of you.  Simply send an email to and request to be included in future emails concerning this project.  We will also tell you how to join our closed FB group so that you can join in on the discussions and fun with Gil Moegerle, Mary Byrne Kline, and Deni Corbett.

Love, “Button” (1/10)

Mary Byrne Kline

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