One of our favorite traditions every fall is a field trip to the orchard a few miles down the road. We always go to pick Haralson and McIntosh apples for baking apple pies. But I really can’t tell you about our annual apple adventures without telling you about Lacie the Red Wagon, a faithful companion throughout most of our family’s 10 year history of apple picking.
The first year we went apple picking as a family of four, my youngest was not yet walking, and so Lacie the Red Wagon helped haul her around the orchard. She loved getting to chew on her very own apple, and legend has it that she ate the entire thing, stem and all.
My oldest wasn’t quite 4 then and still preferred that we regularly address her as “Cinderella,” but she could already reach a few apples to pick right off the trees.
I don’t remember exactly when or how it happened, but somehow the girls decided finding Lacie the Red Wagon among the fleet of more than a dozen wagons at the orchard was essential in our annual apple picking adventures.
One year, the girls’ great-grandma came all the way from Oklahoma to visit us during apple season, and the girls were sure excited to introduce her to Lacie.
Another year, my youngest was thoroughly enjoying a crunchy, fresh-picked apple in the orchard until she realized her wiggly tooth was suddenly missing — as in completely-never-to-be-found-because-she-swallowed-it lost.
That was quite upsetting, and thankfully the wagon was able to console her with a ride as she adjusted to her new smile.
Her sister’s teeth, meanwhile, were safely secured with braces.
The next year, the smiles had changed again.
Now my youngest is almost 9 and quite an experienced apple picker.
My oldest is still delighted to help pick and especially enjoys climbing into the trees and up the trees.
The trees have grown bigger now and the girls have grown so much taller. My baby barely fits inside a wagon these days! But Lacie the Red Wagon remains constant and faithful in hauling fresh-picked fruit, posing for pictures and helping us make memories. “Keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye.” Proverbs 7:2