Sunday, November 2, 2008

Bobbing For Apples

Bobbing for Apples
8.5" x 11"
Thinking of Halloween of the past, I recalled the time when we had a Halloween party at Sneed Memorial Methodist Church. Inside, in the basement area of the big, brick, castle-like church, Mrs. Wyser played the piano and we sang songs, enjoyed some treats of sandwiches, cookies, cake, and Grapette soda water, courtesey of the Grapette Bottling Company below the Masonic Lodge on Main Street. But, anxiety was high and the restless youngsters all wanted to hurry and get this party over with and go out trick or treating, and, hopefully, to find a little mischief to get into.
(To be honest, I can't remember if the Grapettes happened at this same party. But, when the bottling company was in Calvert, the family who operated it attended our church and donated Grapette to our socials. )
There were games and time to chase each other on the sidewalk and the lawn in the light from the street lights and from the church. Joe Bill and "Possum" and the other men, brought out a big metal tub and placed it in the side street near the downstairs door. They filled the tub with water and, teasingly, told us that we would be bobbing for apples. We didn't believe that this would actually happen. I guess that we were to an age where we thought that we were too old for such a childish thing.
Fragrant, bright red apples were dropped into the cool water. These were probably donated by Mr. Ford. He was a Baptist, but at special times, like Christmas, Mr. Ford always donated apples and oranges from his grocery store, Ford Grocery, to the Methodist Church as well as to the Baptist Church.
"Come on and get an apple!" the adults urged.
We hung back until the more advenurous of the children moved up to the tub. We watched as they knelt on the street, put hands behind their backs, faces into the water, and shoved apples around until they finally came up with one in their teeth. As they caught their apple, the children moved back to the lawn, happily chomping on their apples.
Then a game of "Apple core. Baltimore." ensued and apple cores went flying around to hit others who were running and trying to dodge a direct, juicy hit. The adults shouted out stern warnings, but it was necessary for each child to try to hit someone with their apple core. The game stopped when an adult was almost hit.
Then, the children were ready to go on to trick or treating or to go home.
I hung back by the adults and at least one more reluctant child, who didn't want to kneel in the street, and risk not being able to catch one of the slippery apples in my teeth. Eventually, though, I did as I was urged to do, caught my apple, and went on to join the other trick or treaters.
I just thought that the church made a really good background for a Halloween party. Even in daylight, and days other than Halloween, I always thought it was a dark and scarey place. Pretty, but so much like a castle.
I was sad to see, the last time we drove by the church, that they have dug out the sidewalk and the quaint little concrete bridges that crossed the ditch, and made new flat white concrete sidewalks to enter the church.
I know, it's hard for us older folks to make it up all those steep steps. They talked, for as long as I can remember, about putting in an elevator so older folks could make it up to the second floor. But it was never done and many people just had to quit going to church over the years. I guess it is for the best, but it makes such a change in the church. The new concrete sort of stands out like a sore thumb. Maybe it will not be so stark, when the concrete ages a little bit.
We have so many memories of that church and its people.
I remember where cracks were in sidewalks in various places, where rocks or gravel were, where the sticker burrs were, where each bush was, where Indian Paintbrushes grew between cracks in the curbing, etc. and it's hard to think that those things are no longer there.
I thought I would put these memories on as a sort of a Birthday gift to two of my best and oldest friends, Edie and Kathryn. I missed Kathryn's birthday last week. I just had not paid attention to the date! Sorry about that, Kathryn! And Edie's is tomorrow. So, a big Happy Birthday to both of you. I hope you had a wonderful day, Kathryn, and that tomorrow will be very special for you, too, Edie. And, of course, I have to wish you many more to grow on!
I'm so excited! I actually won something!
No, not an art competition, or the lottery, or anything like that. But, I got word today that Diana Moses Botkin did a drawing for a copy of her new book last night, and I won. I can't wait to see her book! I'm sure that it is very nice. She has some excellent work on her website. Very sensitive and beautiful.
Thank you so much, Diana! I know that I will treasure your work!
I'm looking out my window at the bird bath and Oak tree, and have been amazed that, overnight, it seems, the Crepe Myrtle bush in front of my window now has red, brown, and orange leaves! Usually, if the leaves around here actually do change, a norther hits and knocks them off right away. It looks like some of the Oak leaves have changed, too. But, of course, I can't see them very well. I'll have to go outside and take a closer look. It 's very unusual to have fall colors in the landscape, at least for very long.
We're counting down the time to time to go vote. I haven't been able to figure out why we are bring urged to vote early. Or how they can know who has how many electoral votes each candidate has, when we haven't even voted yet.
Election day has always seemed like a very special event. It is good to go out and participate with others who are doing their patriotic duty. It's a good feeling to think that your voice is being heard and your vote counted. I guess that, if you go to a place where there are really long lines, or if you have to line up in bad weather, that might not feel quite as good.
I always thought that the only reason why you should vote early would be if you were going to be in the hospital, or out of town on Election Day. But, now, I've heard of so much voting early, and I've even received e-mails, urging me to vote early (before that ended here). I wouldn't want to miss participating on that special day, though, and I don't feel like there is a reason to vote early. So, I didn't.
Maybe, the fact that I didn't get to vote when I was first old enough, due to the Poll Tax, and thinking of how it hasn't been all that long that women could vote in this country, has made Election Day all that more special to me.
It is disturbing to think that some of our votes won't count as much, or count at all, and that some people are taking advantage and voting illegally. I am much more concerned about this election than I ever have been before.
I didn't intend to get political on my blog, but this is the way that I see things. It is "Through My Eyes". I just had to state my opinion when I saw others put the oppostion on their blogs. So, it became a matter of, "if you can, I can too!"
I hope that you share my view, but, if your opinion differs, that's okay. That's the way you see things, and this is the way that I see things. We can still be friends!
Whatever you believe, let's all follow the rules and have a good, clean, election.
And pray for our country, our leaders, and our people.


V....Vaughan said...

Congratulations on winning Dianna's book!...and I went to our old farm yesterday and all the trees on the creek bottoms are ALL FALL COLORS! we are actually having fall in Texas!!!
Great stories today, C....

Diana Moses Botkin said...

I'm so glad you're excited about winning, Cecelia. Let me know how you like the book when it arrives! Congrats!

Jen said...

Thanks for leaving those wonderfully supportive comments on my blog. I'll be stopping by now that I know you are here. Jen