Do you ever have a few names floating in your social media that you wish you could know more personally? Pixie.c.d was such a name to me. Her tweets always make me laugh and her blog posts always make me want to be a better – more poetic – writer. I am feeling BLESSED that when I reached out the wonderful Chris Dean to be a House Guest that she actually said, yes! I am very pleased to introduce you to this talented writer (and my gracious and lovely friend!)
If you are just tuning in, the House Guest series introduces emerging and established voices in the mom blogger world to the Housewife Plus audience. The writers featured here share their stories about parenting, marriage, and life in general. They are sometimes serious, other times funny, but always real.
THE APPLE PEELER
By Chris Dean of Pixie.c.d
In the kitchen, on a window sill above the sink, sits a rusty knife – the wooden handle cracked and held together by a lifetime’s layers of black tape, the blade now dull from lack of use. To most people it would be an eyesore. To me, it’s a smile riding upon the taste and texture of a peeled apple.
As far back as my memories go, my Grandpa would use this knife to peel and core an apple for me with every visit. His thick hands would somehow manage to remove the peel all in one piece, exposing the white, sweet flesh of the fruit and releasing the smell that served as a promise of sticky-sweet juice on my fingers and the taste of Fall on my tongue.
As the years wore on, he never let go of this ritual, even when the day came that I thought myself too old. He continued until the apples were no longer dutifully consumed by a silly teenager, but by my wide-eyed children – his great grandchildren.
“Mine!” they’d squeal, as play-dirtied hands grasped a dewy-slick wedge in each fist, little shoes slapping across the creaky floor as they ran to hide with their crunchy treasure. His eyes, faded and skin wrinkled from the steady passage of time, would crinkle ever more as he laughed with them over this tiny pleasure.
I’d watch as toddlers stood on tiptoe, clinging to the edge of the same table I’d hung from years before, staring in wonder as thick hands that now shook with the tremors of age, peeled an entire apple for each small mouth. He still used the same tape-handled knife, the crisp skin sliding off in a single, curly strand to the delight of the next generation of children to see it as a type of magic; a ritual of apples presided over by Grandpa 2, the ancient adult who walked with the same unsure steps they themselves used to navigate the world.
My Grandpa passed away years ago, followed by his wife of more than 60 years. I am lucky to know each lived long enough to meet my four children as they entered this world; my Grandma dispensing wisdom on feedings, diaper changes, and the mundane world of gassy babies, my Grandpa peeling apples and (not so) secretly passing out forbidden candy.
We now live in the house my Grandpa built for his family when my Mother was still a knobby kneed child. This is the house I came home to after my birth, the house of countless Holiday celebrations too loud and large to be contained on only one floor. This is the holy ground of my summer vacations, weeks spent chasing fireflies with my cousins and building tree houses that have long since crumbled to memories.
Perhaps it was his last gift to my children that he moved on before they reached the age where the magic disappeared. In their quiet moments, he will forever remain frozen as the giver of candy, the easy laughter and the autumn fruit. The Apple Peeler.
Some things have changed. We’ve painted walls, replaced buckled flooring, and made what seems like a million other tiny repairs and updates. Their house is now our home, filled with our own traditions and small rituals.
Yet through it all, there is one thing that has remained the same. In the kitchen, on a window sill above the sink, sits a rusty knife – the wooden handle cracked and held together by a lifetime’s layers of black tape, the blade now dull from lack of use. To most people it would be an eyesore. To me, it’s a smile riding upon the taste and textures of a peeled apple.
BIO: Chris Dean writes at pixie.c.d. (formerly Life Your Way!) where she shares acts of stupidity, life with adult Offspring, and the occasional useful bit of info on life with chronic illness. She lives in Indiana with her amazingly tolerant Hubby (who swears he doesn’t mind putting up with her), their four adult-kids, and the petting zoo of cats, dogs, chickens, Muscovy ducks, and geese she’s systematically managed to turn their home and yard into. When not writing, you can find her avoiding laundry on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.