There are apples.
And there is no one in sight to help me crank.
By that I mean turn the crank to the strainer we use that conveniently chews the apples, skin and all, and spits out the skin and spits the sauce into my pie plate.
Which just happens to be the only plate low enough to catch the good stuff . Not my favorite set up mind you, but it works.
If you have someone to crank.
Because while they crank I am:
Keeping the apples from boiling over
Feeding the hopper to the strainer
Scraping the applesauce into the pie plate because the cranker is faster than what the strainer can hold
Dumping the sauce into the large stock pot as the pie plate overflows
And most importantly I am listening.
To the cranker.
Not normally on my list of jobs when making applesauce.
Not until today.
You see, I called out to Dad for a cranker. See we use this language with each other and some how understand what we mean. And he sent me someone.
I sighed. Really? I thought. I wanted to fly through the apples not hear about every inch of my son’s day and all the neighbor’s days also.
Don’t look at me like that, you have a child like this too.
One whom you adore, whose jokes have an hour long punch line, who’s favorite book of the Bible is Revelation….. you know the type.
So off we go, him cranking away, talking as fast as he can crank.
Talking so much that the strainer begins to separate from the table and spill sauce and peels on the floor.
We talk about apples, space exploration, husbands, his favorite shirt he is wearing, and too many things for me to remember.
We spill, we fill, we transfer
I am constantly thinking about my new glasses which are small, and thick and make me look funny and make me think I see more apples than what I really see.
He is thinking about life, what he will be, where he will go, and what it would be like to travel half way around the world in a sailboat as a family. (yes he really said that)
I smile. He is trying my patience and I am trying to get through the apples and we are making a horrible mess and the madder I get the more fun he seems to be having.
At my expense.
We fill a pot and then some. We have never made so much sauce before. We get out a new pot and the Lord speaks,
Out of the overflow of your life, you give to your son. You give to everyone.
What is overflowing from my life?
We sweeten the sauce.
It IS good.
He smiles and feels such accomplishment. I feel exhausted and so thankful that he has not noticed that I want to squelch his ever dripping enthusiasm.
We press on and finish up. He is dreaming of selling applesauce and I am dreaming of a green comfy lawn chair and some ice water where I can watch my husband work on the shed.
He is wishing he was a few years older.
I am realizing I have just a few years left.
To crank and talk and think with him.
He offers to get my chair and knitting bag for me. I give him a squeeze and head outside. As I head out the door he sees his sister and tells her, “You missed it. Mom and I have been having fun in here!”
He follows me out and gets me all set up to relax and then asks, “Hey, can I help you with dinner?”