Behind MaMaw and PaPaw Forsyth's house there were five Horse Apple trees. Some folks call them just Green Apple trees. These apples are sweet when ripe but are very tart when just before being ripe.
We kids liked them at most any stage!
PaPaw would actually, or so we thought, count those apples on the trees and dare us to touch them before they were ripe. He always wanted an apple pie and bless his heart he was lucky if he got one!
Saturday's and Sunday's the cousins and I would be there, eyeing those apples to see how "ready" they were. The ocassional brave soul would pick one and test it.
Lord help you if PaPaw came out of the house to catch you around, under, or in one of the trees. We'd all gather under the one in the picture, it was sort of behind and to the side of the house and we'd be able to hear PaPaw if he came out the back door. We forgot about the side porch! That is because the door to the side porch was rarely open, it was in a middle bedroom of the house and the bedroom belonged to Aunt Polly. She would have your hide if she caught you "messin' around" in her room. It was a room you had to pass through from the kitchen to get to the living room and front porch. There was alot of traffic through Aunt Polly's bedroom, maybe that is why she was so grouchy!
One Sunday afternoon, the grown ups were playing soft ball in the side yard on the other side of the house, we kids had decided that it was time those apples were tested. Most of them were only about the size of a road side plum but we figured that was big enough. So, here we were, Donna, Greg, Mary, Vernon, me and a flock of youngers, all gathered up under that horse apple tree. Waiting and watching to make sure no grown ups were watching us, and trying to decide who was gonna climb the tree to get the choice apples at the top.
Vernon decided he was oldest and therefore he should be the one to get the first apple, then he'd pick some and throw them down to us. He'd just gotten into the fork of the main trunk when......"What are ya'll youngun's doin' round my apple tree????!!!!!" Oh My Goodness! Did we scatter or what???
PaPaw had noticed the lack of the usual noise when we all were around and figured we were up to something. He slipped out on the side porch and had stood while we plotted and watched as Vernon began his climb. He choose the perfect moment to pounce, if you could call it that. He was not able to catch a one of us, but he didn't have to. He said jump, we jumped. It's called respect for your elders, so uncommon in this world today.
Well, PaPaw ordered Vernon down from the tree and made us all sit down on the steps of the side porch. He proceeded to give us what for about touching his apples before they were ready and how if we'd gotten the apples and eaten them we'd all be sick before dark. He shook his finger, threatened to switch our legs good if we so much as breathed in the direction of those apples and promised us fried apple pies all in the same sentence. Then ordered us to "git our hindends out and play"!
I was told recently that the old home place has been sold and was slated to be torn down, so I rode my motorcycle over to the old home place last Saturday afternoon. One of the few times I've ever ridden my bike alone to date.
PaPaw's apple trees are still there, but now there are only three. The other two had died and been cut down. There were a very few apples beginning to grow on the tree in the picture (up on top of the post), the same tree that we "younguns" gathered under to plot our raid.
As I walked around the tree in the photo above, I could almost hear PaPaw warning me about "messin' with them green apples".