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Mystery Apple Tree

Bill and Aidan picked our apples this week.

You might wonder what kind of an apple tree it is?

Well, we do too.

As you may have guessed, there's a story about why we don't, and here it is.

We got this deeply discounted tree years ago we were just starting to plant our vegetable fields, and the kids were barely more than toddlers.

When we got it home, we couldn't agree on where it should be planted.

The hay field west of the house was still waiting to be converted to the vegetable plots we have now because, at the time, we were also unsure what the "best" layout for our

vegetable farm dreams should be.

We were nervous about making the necessary changes.

You see, we felt pretty comfortable with the farming lifestyle as we had a decade running a goat dairy under our belts and had both grown up on cow dairy farms.

But switching to vegetables was uncharted territory.

And even though it took several discussions along with pencil sketches on scraps of paper to figure out where the veggie plots would go, the decison process wasn't fraught with so much angst.

We didn't argue so about where to put them. Looking back, I think we both thought changing the field to beds of annuals vegetables could easily be undone and turned back to a more-typically-grown hayfield if this dream turned out to be a bust.


planting a tree seemed way more permanent.

It would put down deep roots.

It felt like such a big commitment to a different future.

A future not commonly taken by other farmers.

A future we felt was right but would looked and was "different".

And that was very scary.

It wasn't the first time, or even the last, that'd we'd walk a different path, but planting this tree in the hayfield was a very public different path in our minds.

We avoided talking about it because it brought up our doubts, and worries about

our decision for this future..

Brought it up right in front of our faces where we couldn't ignore them.

And up seemingly in between us.

Right when we both needed to be connected to take this step.

I'd like to report that we worked together as a team to address these anxieties,

but alas,

as the humans - without much skill in managing our thoughts - that we were back then,

we used the fear we'd both been manifesting against each other and argued about where to plant the darn tree without even realizing it symbolized so much more to each of us.

So we avoided the conversation.

Neither of us wanted to argue, and we knew talking about it would end in just that -- an argument.

So the tree sat in its pot all spring and for most of the summer.

Until one day when the kids and I went somewhere, and Bill noticed it sitting alongside the garage as he walked past it and decided he couldn't stand it anymore.

He grabbed a shovel and the pot, tree and all,

dug a hole, and plunked it in.


It was done.

The apple tree was planted.

And in the right place.

How did he know it was the right place?

Because it was the place he planted it.

Then he waited for me to get home worried how I'd react to his executive decision.

But I surprised him!

The relief I felt, and that I could see by the look on his face that he felt, at the decision being made outweighed any irritation I might have had that he did it without me.

I thanked him for just getting the job done because now that it was done,

we could more forward.

As I write this, I asked him, and neither one of us remembers the particulars of who thought what? why? or even where? the tree should be.

We can't even remember the name of the type of apple variety it produces. Once it was planted, we got busy planting more stuff, learning more than we thought we ever could about growing vegetables while raising a family, and living life.

During that time, we lost the tag with the name of the apple tree variety.

We call it our mystery apple tree.

You know, the one just where it's supposed to be, doing what it's supposed to be doing -- growing delicious apples.

Just like we intended it too.

And there's NO mystery about that!


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