The Big Apple Tree

February 16, 2011

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By Bernadine Chapman-Cruz

I always dreamed of owning an apple tree, but this wish remained on my to-do-list. Then, one day while channel surfing, something not only caught my eye, but made my mouth water. Staring back at me from a shopping channel was a big, steaming hot apple pie. I could almost smell the sweet, spicy aroma drift into my living room.

“With giant apples from the Big Apple Tree, you’ll be able to bake a nine inch apple pie with only one piece of fruit.” The pitch further enticed me, as the camera moved from the pie to a close-up of the hostess’ sparkly teeth, perfectly coiffed hair and Cheshire cat grin. I knew she was talking directly to me.

“Ooh, it smells so good,” she said, taking a big whiff, her eyes closed leaving at least a half inch of false eyelashes resting on each cheek. I followed the hostess’ lead inhaling deeply.

When I opened my eyes, the screen had changed to ‘The Big Apple Tree Orchard.’

“Renown for apple trees producing giant apples big enough to make a nine inch apple pie out of each piece of fruit,” she reiterated.

“Delivered directly to your doorstep, The Big Apple Tree comes with a root ball ready to plant for only $39.99, plus shipping and handling. It can be yours today.”

Hooked, I couldn’t get to the phone fast enough to place my order.

As promised, within five days, my Big Apple Tree arrived. My heart beat wildly beneath my sweater as I ripped open the long thin box, revealing a large bulge the size of a small grapefruit encased in sturdy burlap. Apples! Apples! pounded through my brain, but it was only a root ball. On a mission, I dug deeper, flinging crumpled paper over my shoulder as I inched up through the protective wrapping.

To my dismay, instead of giant apples, I discovered a skinny stick no thicker than the thin bone of a skeleton’s leg, with three dead leaves clinging to four tiny branches no bigger than chopsticks. 

I couldn’t believe my eyes. This tree will take years to mature, and even longer to bare giant fruit. My hopes of ‘a big apple pie’ were shattered.

Heartbroken, I rewrapped my coveted Big Apple Tree placing it back into the box. I pasted the pre-printed return label on the outside, grabbed my car keys and headed for the post office, stopping at the bakery on the way home.  

That night, as I cut into the local baker’s juicy apple pie placing a big piece on my plate, I looked outside to where my Big Apple Tree would have been. A lump rose in my throat. I couldn’t even take a bite. Dejected, I pushed the plate away and picked up the remote control to watch television.

“Today we are offering ‘Pie of the Month,’” I heard.  My heart began to beat wildly beneath my sweater as I gazed at a dozen luscious fresh-baked pies on the shopping channel table.

My eyes grew wide. My mouth watered. I knew I shouldn’t, but I reached for the phone. Copyright © 2011 Bernadine Chapman-Cruz



  1. I love the story!! It makes me want to bake an apple pie!
    Thanks for the delightful story Bernadine!


  2. Okay, invite me over, I am ready for your big, sweet apple pie. Good article, you made me hungary.


  3. Great article, enjoyed every bite. Now I want pie!!!


  4. Enjoyed the story. Would love a nice warm piece of apple pie a la mode.

    I see the pie in the photo has one of those vintage birds in the center that lets out the steam. A friend of mine gave me one of those. They are really cute.


  5. Hi Jennifer, Dorothy, Judie and Valerie. So glad you liked the Big Apple Tree and Big Apple Pie story. Unfortunately, it was a TRUE story. I still like apple pie though and it seems to be lots of people’s favorite. Thanks for following In and Around the Garden, it is a great site.

    And a special Thank You to Dianne for inviting me to guest write. Bernadine


  6. My mouth is drooling and I love the humor!


  7. Hi Ina,
    You are not alone. It seems everybody has apple pie on their mind after reading The Big Apple Tree.

    Enjoy the great gardening tips at In and Around the Garden on future posts. Bernadine


  8. Dear Bernadine,
    I know all about your love for pie now. Read the article in the Lodi News-Sentinel and saw your photo with you and your husband. Read about your date where you went out and had pie. It was fun to read that article and find out more about you. My husband and I are 10 yrs. difference in age (pretty close to you two). We are fairly close to the same age too. Loved your description of your husband when he showed up for your first date!! A neat Valentine story. All you subscribers should look this up and see the cute picture of Bernadine and her husband.


    • Hi Valerie,
      Thank you for your kind comments regarding my recent ‘first date story’ in the Lodi News Sentinel. And it is all true!

      Isn’t the internet amazing – especially in learning more about people we randomly meet on-line and it promotes making new friends. Thanks again. bernadine


  9. Bernadine, I am waiting for you to bring me a piece of apple pie.


  10. Sorry Dorothy, it’s all gone. Pie doesn’t last too long at our house. I’ll save you a piece next time. bernadine


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