Saturday, August 13, 2005

Does the apple fall far from the tree?

For some reason I am thinking about Apple Annie today. I guess it's because this is the time of year I would usually see her.

Apple Annie, not her real name but she was known by all as Apple Annie. She was a very different kind of woman. None like I've ever seen or will ever see again.

My Mother wanted nothing to do with Apple Annie. She was very vocal about her request. She even went as far as to have my Dad tell Apple Annie that he was a Widower.

Of course Apple Annie felt sorry for my dad raising two daughters alone.

My Mother and I told my sister she was adopted and that Apple Annie was her real mother. Sis still has some issues with that some 15 years later.

I remember once, Apple Annie went to a yard sale. There was a pair of sneakers for sale. Apple Annie only bought one. When asked if she wanted the other one, her response was, "Why? I only need one." She put it on and off she went with her new used shoe.

Apple Annie had some serious real estate. My Dad would tell me "Apple Annie is rich". My Dad doesn't judge people. My Mom would tell me "Apple Annie is nuts!"

"Apples! Cider!" hearing that as a child would send chills down my spine. Mom would go running into her room, and Dad would go to greet her.

Of course Apple Annie didn't ever ring the door bell anywhere she went. She walked right into the house uninvited.

I remember once, we had just eaten chili for dinner. Apple Annie grabbed my Mothers dirty bowl, (Mom ran upstairs so fast she left the dirty bowl in the sink.) Apple Annie grabbed it and helped herself to some chili. Dad offered her a clean bowl. Apple Annie replied, "I'm fine."

One morning I came downstairs, and Apple Annie was laying on the front porch. I got scared and ran for my Dad. "She probably just needs some tires, and didn't want to wake me." Was Dads response. Indeed, that was what she had wanted.

Mom chuckled and poked fun at her from upstairs. Peeking at Ms. Annie through the blinds. I just stared wide eyed.

My younger sister was terrified. She was only twelve years old at that time.

The last time I saw Apple Annie was at a Point of Grace concert. She was singing and praising God. My Mother is supposed to be a Christian. She always made fun of Apple Annie. She taught me to do the same. Together we tormented my sister.

My Mother taught me to ridicule what was different. To lie my way out of an uncomfortable situation, and to dehumanize those less fortunate than myself.

Apple Annie passed away last year in a nursing home. I called my Dad to tell him. I didn't call my Mom because she hasn't spoken to me in five years. I wish I could have said good-bye. I wish I could take back the teasing. I wish I could say "I'm sorry".

Apple Annie was different. She was eccentric. She didn't care what anyone thought of her. She marched to her own tune. I now have the memory of her kookiness to bring a smile to my face.

It's ironic that I can think of Apple Annie with a Smile, and my Mother with sadness.

My parents are no longer married, but Dad, Sis and I still remain quite close.


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