In the back yard of the house that David and I grew up in was a crab 
apple tree, I guess daddy planted it because our momma had no interest 
in doing yard work; she always wanted those acres to be mowed, the 
leaves to be mulched, the flower beds neat and tidy and sticks and 
limbs from all those pecan trees to be piled up and hauled off, but 
she rarely helped.  She ruled the roost inside the house, most 
especially in the kitchen, and the outside was daddy's responsibility; 
it was an arrangement that worked for them so who am I to question it?

We did not have a back porch so to speak, it was just a brick and 
concrete stoop.  I remember when the tree was no more than a little 
switch and daddy used cords and wooden stakes to stabilize it until it 
got strong enough to stand up straight, and he removed the safety 

Over a brief few years the skinny little bush grew to become a 
show-piece of the yard.  It was so impressive that one year we made 
family snapshots at Easter; the pink clusters of blossoms were so full 
and pretty that it made a beautiful background for the photos.  Once 
the film was developed, the pictures captured the blossoms so 
beautifully that it looked like a painted background rather than a 
real tree in our backyard.

Because of the brightly colored flowers, it was also a favorite spot 
for all kinds of swarming bees.  Soon Brother David realized that the 
insects made great moving targets and he sat on the back stoop many 
afternoons and target practiced.  He still claims that is why he was 
good at target shooting his collection of BB guns, and he is probably 
correct about that fact but our Sunday afternoons trips to target 
practice at the dug-out also helped us both to be good shots.

One spring the crab apple tree was in full bloom with even some tiny 
apples beginning to appear when a surprising ice storm formed and 
moved through our town and ruined the tiny apple fruit for that year.   
It was amazing to see those pretty miniature apples and red blossoms 
encased in ice.  Those freak late winter or early spring storms can do 
so much damage to fruit crops.

Then one year we had such a bumper crop of tiny apples that momma 
decided to make jelly and we all picked the little red fruit and 
helped wash them in the sink.  The jelly was good but momma was 
disappointed because it was not a clear color that she desired.  So, 
back to picking more little crab apples so she could make a second 
batch of jelly.

The second attempt she strained the liquid once through a tea-strainer 
as before but then she strained it again through cheese-cloth and that 
was the answer.  When that batch setup it was a beautiful pink color 
and as clear as glass.


Brenda S. Brown 


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