The Cider House Rules re-ignited my longings for New England, for rolling hills and soft autumnal colors, for the jaggy coast of Maine, for lobsters, and for Macintosh apples. When I was in grade school, our class took a field trip to go apple picking. We were each given a small paper bag to fill and if my memory serves, I never filled it. I followed a simple rhythm: apple off tree, apple into mouth, apple off tree, apple into mouth, until my stomach ached and I climbed down from the ladder and just sat beneath the shady canopy of leaves.
I cannot be trusted with a fruit harvest. Not now, not then. Picking strawberries from my grandfather's garden, I averaged 1 berry in the box for every 7 or so in my mouth. As recently as summer of '99 picking blackberries on Nantucket, more berries landed inside my stomach than anywhere else, though we managed enough for two pies. I simply can't help myself. Plus, it's just more fun my way. If I ever have my own garden, I fear I'll make myself sick.