Chores were never my strong suit. When it was time for chores growing up, I would often disappear behind a book or into the bathroom. (Though I promise, I usually did have to go.)
But we had a special chore that needed doing once a year.
Not familiar with this odd fruit? Neither were we until we moved into a house with a very large and fruitful hedge tree in the backyard.
A hedge apple is about the size of a grapefruit, a bright yellow-green, and textured all over the outside like a brain. Sounds delightful, doesn’t it?
Oh, and did I mention that occasionally one of them will ooze a sticky white sap?
And here’s the best part: they have to be picked up every autumn.
Luckily for my siblings and me, after a couple years, my parents decided this chore was worthy of monetary compensation.
The first year, the reward was 10 cents per hedge apple. We bagged them into plastic grocery bags, 10 to a bag, amounting to a whopping 1 dollar per bag.
My parents thoughts perhaps they would pay us 10 dollars that year. They were in for a surprise!
Many years, the tree drops over 600 hedge apples, which adds up rather quickly for a hefty pay-out.
Our pay was cut by half after the first autumn. 🙂
It has been years since I picked up hedge apples. But we got to visit my parents earlier this fall, and it happened to be hedge apple time!
It was surreal and beautiful to take my children to the backyard to pick up the fruit. There is something about watching your children do something from your own childhood. It brings back memories long gone to merge with new ones. It was a perfect way to spend the afternoon.
We’re not quite ready to compensate them, but they were great helpers!