Figuring out what I wanna be when I grow up.
Oop..I AM grown up...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Sweet Cherry Flashback

So, the grocery stores are filled with sweet cherries now.  Every freaking time I see them, or any cherries for that matter, I think back to the ridiculous sweet cherry incident when I was around 12 or 13. 

It was a typical hot summer, and my dad, who super lurvs cherries, wanted to go for a ride to a local pick-your-own fruit farm.  I came along with him.  I must have been very bored, because anyone who's ever been forced to go along with their parents to a dry, dusty orchard in the dead of summer knows how endlessly dull it is. 

The old farmer greeted us at the gate, and directed us to the area where we could pick our own.  Dad drove in, we parked and then got out to scope out the best tree.  We appeared to be the only ones there, so we could have our pick of the orchard, it seemed. 

Is everyone familiar with an orchard ladder?  Well, they look like this:

post on one side, climby part on the other

Unfortunately my dad has never had much sense, or sense of DANGER when it comes to DANGEROUS THINGS. So, he set up the ladder under a good tree, which was fine, and he climbed up like the person in the picture, but that wasn't good enough, so he climbed higher. Ooo, looky, look! There's a nice big cluster of cherries right overhead!

Well, I would like to think that everyone knows that that step at the very top of the ladder is NOT a step. I think it even says that on some ladders, you know, for those sort of people who might be inclined to run their hair dryer while they're in the bath?

So, dad stepped up onto the not-a-step step, until he was a good five feet off the ground or more, and even better, reached way overhead to grab that enticing large bunch of cherries, even though cautious karen was not happy about him being on that precarious ladder like that. 

Dad reached.  The ladder closed like a book.  The ladder flopped over one way, and dad fell the other, landing flat on his back with a great "OOF!!!"

I was HORRIFIED.  I leaned over dad.  His eyes bulged.  He had blood on the side of his mouth. 

"Dad!  Are you okay?!?" 

But dad couldn't talk, and mumbled out some unintelligible; "blobbleobbleumble buh..."

So, I reacted just as I should:  I FREAKED.


I tore off through the dusty orchard, sobbing, in a total panic.  I took a wrong turn and came nearly face to face with the snarly, gnashing teeth of the farm dog, luckily on a chain.  Horrified I back-tracked and ran like a headless chicken back to the entrance to the farm, where the farmer himself was having a nap in his little entry shack. 


The old farmer sprang up; "OKAY, HONEY! GET IN!" 

We hopped into his old, huge beater of a car, and started driving.  And there was dad, standing up and waving his arm around, shouting my name. 

When we pulled up, dad explained that while he'd given me a good scare, he was okay.  I was ruined and collapsed against him.  He talked with the farmer for a minute and I remember the farmer saying; "that's a good girl ya got there," but I couldn't stop sobbing. 

They chatted amicably for a moment, and then the farmer drove back to his post.  Dad said; "phew, I think that's enough for today.  Let's go home." 

So, what had happened?  Dad was on the top of that precarious ladder, reaching for that irresistably large bunch of cherries.  However, he'd been eating them as fast as he could pick them, and had a nice mouthful at the time, when the ladder WOBBLED then SMACKED CLOSED.  He landed flat on his back, with a mouthful of cherries. Cherry juice spurted out beside his mouth, and the wind had nicely been knocked out of him, so that's why he couldn't answer immediately.  By the time he'd caught enough breath to tell me he was alright, I was more than halfway back to the farmer. 

So, I had a heart-attack, he had a nice permanent cherry juice stain on his back, and my family had a new story to chortle over every year thereafter; they especially love the part where I say "my DADDY fell off the ladder".   Yeah, yeah, whatever.

The End.


  1. And our parents wonder why we're in therapy....

    Lord, now that you're old enough, go back to your parents house and kick him in the shins for me. That gave me a hullava scare.

  2. WORD, LIZBETH. Enh, my siblings find this story SO hilarious. They tell it far more often than I ever feel like telling it. I can picture it all so vividly still.

  3. Note to self, never do any kind of harvesting or yard work!

  4. you poor baby trying to save your broken daddy, only to mocked mercilessly by your family members. ya done good, kid, ya done good.
    now pass me some cherries!

  5. Awww...but your daddy did fall off the ladder! And I'm glad he was fine. husband fell off our deck while trying to cut the branch off a tree. He was holding the branch he was cutting. Got the visual? Again, least, yours was your daddy. We can forgive him.

  6. you did what any lovin' daughter would have done, sister - go on with your DAD self.

  7. Whoa. If only Lassie had been there.

  8. somehow, Laoch, I imagine you'd have a lot more sense.

  9. Sherilin, I'm the only one in this house who loves sweet cherries, but hell, I'll buy some and eat them all anyway.

  10. Sandra, that is indeed a manly visual I'm getting. And it just makes me sad.

  11. ha ha, Christina. Yes, I'll go with my DAD SELF.

  12. Dbs, I think I was Lassie. that good or bad

  13. That story is a new one for me, so your family COULDN'T have told it TOO many times... :)

    Also I do not recall any cherry phobias as you grew up, so you hid it well!

    I guess the moral of the story is that harvesting for yourself can be more costly than it appears.

    Do you have a tramatic story for the other fresh fruits of the season? Nothing about the coming peaches or pears? I look forward to future related entries.

    Seriously, I'm glad your dad lived to tell the tale (again and again and again...).

  14. I have any other fruit-related trauma, Matt? Now I have to ponder this...Gee, aside from cutting into a peach and finding mold all over the inside of the split pit, I can't think of anything too terribly scarring. But oh man, it used to suck when we had to go to the orchard and hang out while Mom picked some fruit. Bor-ing.

  15. let me get this straight, they all laughed because you went to get help?i wonder what kind of people they are.;would they have just stood around, and hoped that they were in the will?

  16. I remember going out to pick wild strawberries and raspberries in Chippawa when I was a kid. That was actually fun, like finding hidden treasure.

  17. Hee hee Paula! Actually, they laugh at the whole insanity of the story, and how outrageous and over the top it was, thanks to my dad. I think the "my DADDY fell off the ladder" part cracks them up because it's like something Laura Ingalls would say, and not how I talked otherwise. So, we're all cracked, but not completely depraved :)

  18. really Matt? But wasn't it 5000 degrees whenever you had to do this? Oh wait--strawberry season comes early in the summer. Maybe it wasn't too bad.

  19. I think the difference was that we did it because it was OUR idea and not an adult's...


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