By David Lovlien Jr.
Growing from Granite
I grew up in a big old federal colonial house in Salisbury, north of Concord. The back yard was really something out of a magazine; it had beautiful gardens lush with flowers, bushes, trees, and vegetables that we grew ourselves.
During the fall, the apples on our apple trees ripened and were ready for picking. The tree closest to the house was at least a couple hundred years old. It was huge.
Red apples dropped to the ground making a thump with every one. It smelled better than a Yankee candle. In the morning, we would look out the window and watch deer eating the fallen fruit under the trees.
In the afternoon after I got off the school bus, you could find me outside plucking apples and putting them in a big pail that I would bring inside to my mom, my “Mumma.” Together we peeled the apples.
We talked about my day at school. She’d hurry me to get ready for football practice. She was always there for me and still is today. We would often sit for long periods of time and cut up apples together for the pies, jams, and pastries the whole family loved. We even made apple butter, an awesome treat on toast in the morning before school.
The smell of apple and cinnamon radiated throughout the whole house every autumn. Now, when I smell a home-cooked pie, I can’t help but remember growing up in the country, the apple trees and my “Mumma.”
Our close family friends, the Martins, lived down the road. Ms. Martin was the best cook. No one could compete with her. She made lots of cakes and cookies and healthy snacks from the garden, too.
I remember getting off the bus at her house sometimes. There was always amazing food beckoning. I especially remember Ms. Martin’s silver cake holder with a wooden acorn on the top. If you took the top off, there would always be a cake begging to be sliced.
Now that I am grown up – or almost there — and busy with work and school, I miss being a kid sometimes.
I miss having the time to relax and take a walk down the road – any country road — simply to enjoy the foliage. This fall, I am making it my mission to enjoy those things of New Hampshire and my youth that made me so happy.
I’m going to go apple picking and maybe even bake a pie.
David Lovlien Jr. is a high honors graduate of Coe-Brown Northwood Academy. He plans to attend Great Bay Community College in Portsmouth for a degree in liberal arts. David is an active member on the New Hampshire Legislative Youth Advisory Committee. He writes a regular column, Growing from Granite, for InDepthNH.org.