A Vacation, Hedge Apples, and my Dad

I just returned from a 10-day vacation to Kansas, to visit my family.

It was amazing, just what I needed. Being surrounded by family.

I documented it via pictures on Facebook, but didn’t have consistent computer access  to blog. And when I did, I was too tired.

Odd– the TV is on and I just heard the theme song to “The Young and the Restless.” My grandmother used to LOVE that show. She loved it so much that I knew not to call on Thursdays during that hour. I’m talking about my hometown, where she lived– and that TV show comes on. Just that little moment, that little memory, I feel her with me right now.

Anyway, I could have blogged, but I didn’t. And I was okay with that.

But one of the best memories I had was just picking hedge apples. It was my first time! I’ve been talking to people about them around here, and no one has heard of them. Apparently they are a uniquely country thing– not happening around this region of Illinois.

I got to drive with my father in our family pasture– we come from farmers. He grew up on a farm. We drove around in this giant silver F-150 pick-up, loud as hell. I watched my father, who just turned 71 yesterday, get out and move these barbed wire fences several times out of the way. He wrangled those with such ease– and he just seemed so happy. Watching him stride around the plains, I’ve never seen him look so peaceful.

He stopped the truck and let me get out to pick some hedge apples! They were up high, and I needed a boost. He helped me to reach one on a high branch, and I managed to get one. It oozed sap– apparently they’re poison! They’re like giant, bumpy, Granny Smith apples. I was giddy with this simple pleasure. I knew this was a memory I’d treasure with my father for the rest of my life.

Last night for his birthday, we went to see “Gravity,” in 3-D. I had to giggle because ever since that Father’s Day with the “Crazy-ass glasses,” we keep ending up at 3-D movies. He’s learned to tolerate them better now. I’m just glad I got to go with him. Movies are what my Dad and I do, besides dinner.

There is so much more I could write about… but I am content with just this little story.

I don’t need to write as much anymore, and that’s okay.

Sometimes happiness is in the white space.

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