Mondays are for memories – popcorn and apples

I was five years old and it was summer time. We were in the process of moving from our triplex in the city, to a farm. I know it had always been my parents dream/plan to move to the country.

My dad and I had driven out to the farm because he needed to talk to the owner, Manno. I sat in the car with the windows down and waited for him to come back.

Parked on the front lawn, I was close to the little sidewalk that ran around the house and to the door in the porch. There was a girl, younger than me, sweeping.

Manno and Matti had 10 children, and this was their youngest, Esther. I don’t remember meeting her but someone must have introduced us, at least from afar, because I knew her name. I liked that her first name was my middle name.

She didn’t talk to me. I don’t remember if I talked to her. I probably did, but I’ve found most Amish children are quiet when they meet outsiders. She just watched me as she swept the sidewalk and I watched her through the open car window.

I was eating pink popcorn. The kind that comes in a white box with an elephant on the front. I offered her some. I held a handful out the window and dropped her broom, came over to the car and let me drop the pink puffs into her open hands. She ate it, still saying nothing.

Then she disappeared inside the house.

I listened to the birds, looked at the white bridal veil bush, felt the warm air, and wondered when my dad would come back.

Esther stepped out of the house with something in her hands.

It was an apple, broken in two by her mother. Not cut, but twisted and snapped into two equal halves, seeds and all.

She reached up and handed me half and we ate in silence. Watching each other. Never speaking.

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