Monday, August 30, 2010

When Life Gives You Lemons You Make Lemonade

When life gives you lemons you make lemonade, or rather, when life gives you apples falling and rotting under the neighbours tree, you pick them and make apple crisp.
The property manager cleaned up the house and yard of the duplex a few doors down. When he was in the yard the question was asked, "Can we pick the apples off the tree?" The yard has a huge apple tree, filled with large apples. As of late the apples have been falling to the ground in the yard of the party duplex. The apples have been rotting and attracting wasps.

Although the apples were mostly cleaned up yesterday there are more on the ground today. I went into the yard to have a look at the tree and see if I could get an apple to try. I was wondering what the apples would be like, and if they would be ok to eat. There were so many apples on the ground that it was hard to walk without stepping on them. The apples on the ground were also covered with wasps. Some apples could hardly be seen for the amount of wasps on them. Other apples no longer held the shape of an apple and were just brown sauce on the ground.
I was not able to reach any of the apples on the tree myself. So, my husband got a stick and knocked one of the apples out of the tree. I took the apple home, washed it, and cut into it. We both tried the apple. It was good. It was a nice, sweet tasting apple. It wasn't grainy at all. It was actually a very good apple.
So, I decided I would go back into the yard with a ladder and a bucket, and pick the apples. That way they would not be dropping on the ground, rotting, and collecting all the wasps. The property manager said he did not care if we picked the apples. And the people living in the duplex do not seem to care anything about their yard. So, off we went. My husband brought the ladder, and I carried the bucket. I found a section of the tree that seemed to have a fair amount of apples. The ladder was set in place, and up I climbed to get some apples.
As soon as I was up the ladder I had a wasp on me. I thought I would be ok. They don't sting unless they are bothered and I thought I would just be careful not to bother the wasp sitting on my arm. I went to pick my first apple. I put my hand around it and noticed it had a hole in it and was full of wasps. That apple stayed in the tree. I went to the next apple. It looked fine, so I plucked it out of the tree and placed it in the bucket.
That was when I put my arm down. My arm touched my side, and the wasp stung. That was it for me. I was ready to leave with one single apple. The yard was full of wasps on the ground and they had overtaken the tree as well.
My husband was brave enough to go up the ladder and see what he could do. He was careful to check each apple before picking it, and slowly worked to get the apples out of the tree. He got half a bucket of apples from the tree. That was about it. The apples are high up in the tree, and full of wasps. The wasps were swarming all around the tree. And the apples on the ground were full of wasps as well.
We went home with the bucket half full of apples. It was harder than I thought because of the condition the yard was already in. I was hoping to make a bigger dent in the apples still on the tree.
But home I went. I washed the apples and cut half of them up, and made apple crisp.
I told my neighbour what I did as well. I said maybe next year we can pick the apples from the tree before they start falling on the ground. Maybe next year the entire neighbourhood can pick the apples from the tree and prevent the apples from falling to the ground and making the mess that we now have.
I wonder how many other trees there are in the city that have apples falling on the ground in the same fashion as this one. How many other yards are full of rotting, wasp infested apples?
What if the city had a list of these yards with apples people are not picking, or using? What if someone, or some group, picked the apples? They could be given to community members who wanted a bag of apples, or given to the food bank.  They could be given to a Church group to bake with and give to a soup kitchen. Something could be done with the apples so they are not left to rot on the ground.
Maybe we could turn a negative into a positive, with just a little imagination.

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