My phrasing here frames the apple picking as some distant eventual fruit-gathering quest deferred. In reality, it was (briefly) an annual tradition for my family. We’d make a picnic lunch and load into the car for a trip to a mythical land known to me only as “upstate”.
In apple picking, unlike programming, you definitely don’t want to get started on the low-hanging fruit. To that end, my dad had jury-rigged an impressive contraption from a telescoping painter’s pole and two paint paddles . With it, we could effectively beat the system, snatching fresh, virginal fruit from the tallest* branches, leaving the other visitors to scrounge for the few remaining apples dangling within arms length.
Apple picking likely ended up on the bucket list here as a coping mechanism. “Apple season” runs through the early autumn, and as November stretched along, I had probably recently received the news that we’d missed our window. “Maybe not this year, but one day,” I moped.