An Apple (Tree) a Day

For a “Tree Adoption” it was a remarkably unshady event.

This was because the line we waited on to get our free sapling snaked through a large supermarket parking lot. And it was a long line, too. MJ and I arrived at around 9:45 AM and found about fifty people already there. Guess we’re not the only ones looking to fill out our family. And/or jump on free garden swag.

The sun was already hot, and, as I’ve said, shade was the one thing not available anywhere. Fortunately bottled water–given out by Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez’s wife–was, and the supermarket itself had pretty much anything you could think of. Except for organic produce. I know this because the nice lady behind us held our spot while we went inside to buy an apple for MJ. Granny smith, as conventionally grown as it gets. Ah, well. Sometimes you’ve got to live on the wild side. I’ll give her a juice cleanse later. Wink.

There were several fruit tree types available for adoption–cherry, Asian pear, avocado–but we could choose only one. Influenced, perhaps, by her snack, MJ went for Gala apple. So, at about 11:15, we left with a four-foot sapling waving bravely out of our passenger-side window. My left shoulder was brutally sunburnt, and even the tree itself looked a little worse for having sat out in that heat, but I knew we would all be happier–and more hydrated–when we got home.

Mike looked a little concerned when we drove up. He’s been ambivalent, as you know, about this new addition to our family. His argument: we haven’t room. Our soil won’t sustain it. How will we put it through college? OK, maybe not the latter. Still, I knew that he would make a place in his heart–and our garden–for the young stray now dropping leaves on our cracked-up driveway.

It didn’t take long at all. By the time I was making lunch Mike had found a spot out back and was digging dutifully at the hard, rubbly soil. He grumbled some, sure, but in the end even he agreed that the tree would be a great addition to that currently sere and forbidding place, adding beauty, shade, and harmony to it. In ten years. But still.

A few hours down the line, it’s as if it has always been here. I can’t imagine life without it. It brings tears to my eyes to think we might have skipped out when we saw that crazy line.

As for the sunburn on my shoulder? A small price to pay. Apples ain’t cheap these days. Even the non-organic kind.


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