In the fall it was apple picking time. Any young girl or boy who applied early enough could get a temporary one day job apple picking at a nearby orchard in the Weirton / Holidays Cove area. Droozy,  along with a whole group of boys and girls, stood in line to be signed up for the day’s work. Droozy was fifth in line, having gotten up at five in the morning in order to be included among the workers. Out of the fifty that stood there, the first twenty were chosen. They were loaded on the backs of two red trucks and driven to a farm. The trees were heavy with apples, one fruit next to the other. The tree branches were bent under their load. There were red apples and green ones and some that were yellow in color. At the foot of each tree there was a ladder which reached to the very top. At the bottom there was a bushel to store the ripe fruit as they came off the trees.

Droozy was very enthusiastic about her job. She loved eating apples and she especially liked the opportunity to climb the ladders and to earn the three dollars per day that each picker was to receive. To her this was a great deal of money since she was only twelve years old. It paid more than carrying empty milk bottles to the store, which she did on occasion. For those she received only a penny each.

Apple picking began at six in the morning and the day ended at seven at night. It was fun at first. For three hours the picking was pretty fast. By the fourth it went a little slower. She was given thirty minutes for a lunch break to eat the sandwiches and other delicacies that her mother had so carefully packed. Droozy was allowed to eat two apples during the day and this was monitored carefully by a farm boss. He would walk back and forth to make sure that the children were working hard and not wasting the time or the fruit.

By three o’clock in the afternoon Droozy was very tired. Plop, plop, plop, one after another of the apples were lowered into the bushels. The day seemed very long as the shadows slowly began to fall over the apple orchards. By five in the afternoon the picking was almost in slow motion. The boss would come around and would shout at the children in a loud voice to “hurry it up and not fall asleep on the job.” At seven the farm trucks finally returned and ushered the children unto the vehicles. Droozy was so tired she could barely lift her feet to climb up.  It felt as if every bone in her body ached. It took the twelve year old several days before she felt good and strong again.

Doing that hard work for one day gave Droozy the understanding how hard farm work really is and how much it takes to grow and harvest fruit. She was appreciative of the life of the farmers and that they truly must work from dawn to dark to earn a living.

Pork Dumplings
Please Don't Eat the Goldfish
Pretty Shoes
Blueberry Cake
The Garden
The Red Rabbit
The Lost Bathing Tickets
What Shall I Do?  The Double Message
Pieces of Gold
Aromas of the Sabbath
The Birth of a Brother
Green Apples
Herr Kübler
The Broken Leg
Boarding School
The American Calendar
Suse Puppe
Shirley Temple Eyes
Kristallnacht Nov. 9, 10, 11
Aunt (Tante) Mathilde
Ice Skates
The Cologne Cathedral
The Escape
A Belgian Holiday
Gas Balloons and the S. S. Washington
The Statue
A Bad Dream
A Pencil Thief
The West Virginia Hills
Ice Cream, Grieben and Baked Spaghetti
The Gypsy’s Song
Venetian Blinds
The Deaf One
Dimmed Lights
Norma Mae
The Spelling Bee
Run, Thief, Run!
The Candy Store
The Birthday Party
Deep, Shallow Waters
Red Riding Hood
Small Mama
Droozy In Love
Eskimo Pies
Apple Picking Time
Working Days
Easter Baskets
Blind Joe
Lessons Learned From Parents
About the Author