Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Delicious Memories

There are bowls of shiny red apples in my kitchen.  A sure sign Halloween is just around the corner.

These rich, deep scarlet fruits, with crisp and juicy flesh, are as much a part of Halloween for our family as are pumpkins, candy corn or popcorn balls for others.  A tradition passed down from my father-in-law, years before Tim and I were even together.

As a child, I remember few stops along our trick-or-treating route, but George's house is one I recall fondly.  At the bottom of a steep hill (great for sleigh riding), we'd knock on the door and a man with stark white hair would greet us.  He was quiet, often not even speaking, as he'd turn away at the sight of us, carrying the candy bowl back inside with him.  The first year this happened, I thought maybe we'd done something wrong or upset him by knocking too loud.  It wasn't until he reappeared with a handful of bright red apples, tossing them into our bags, that we were shared the Blair surprise. 

We were favorites! Only George's favorites, special kids of dear friends, got red delicious apples.  Everyone else...just candy.

These weren't your average apples.  They were enormous!  Stretching our mouths to chomp into them resulted in a chin dripping with juices.  Each noisy bite filling our mouths with sweetness no candy could match.  It was always a treat that never made it home, as we'd enjoy them in the car, candy bags awaiting inspection.

Tim and I were only married one Halloween without Austin, so there hasn't yet been a season that we aren't away from the house trick-or-treating with our kiddos.  This year, though my teens are "too old" we will happily be toting my baby sister's littles, as she has class.  Even if we weren't going door to door, we'd be at the annual fire department potluck, where we have ended our holiday for two decades.

As such, I've never really got to start the tradition of handing out apples to special guests on Halloween, but I do make sure we always have them at home to enjoy.  Every hand selected fruit is a reminder of a sweet, quiet man we dearly miss.  For now, I'll just share them with my family and company that happens to visit this time of year.  One day though, my husband's salt and pepper hair will become mostly salt, much like his daddy's, and we can continue the tradition like George.


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