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