It was in that busy thrift shop that you found them, the shop that's in a little old house so crowded with goods and people that you often have to turn sideways to pass each other by. And you're most careful about the wide swing of the handbag that's slung over your shoulder, what with all that glassware along the wall.
You're pretty selective in your thrifting these days. Can't bring back any old thing to that little home of yours. In fact, you have a list of sorts, in your mind, of things in particular that you're searching for. Rarely does anything else make the cut.
Today? Today, (and all through the summer months, you remember) the little ladies who run the place have home-grown produce for sale, picked fresh from the garden that takes up the entire back yard behind the thrift-store-house. On the shelves today are tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, and...a large bowl of apples - the first local pickings you've seen this year.
Apples! All red and green and shiny, picked fresh. Without much thought, really, you tell the ladies that you'll take the whole bowl, because you know that little something about late summer and apple pie, how they just go together - like an umbrella and a light rain, like a shady spot and a good book, like a knitting basket and a gurgling creek.
And when it comes right down to it, there'll be a boy with a paring knife in the kitchen with you back home, learning to core and slice, and another boy will be buzz-hovering around like a fall fly, waiting to snatch up and chomp down the peelings that you slice off long and thin. And those boys will learn about acidulated water for keeping apples from turning brown. And they'll keep eating those crisp white slices, until you're pretty sure there won't be enough left for the pie.
But, a bit later, after all the footballing is done for the day, there will be an apple pie indeed, waiting in the kitchen. Waiting for ice cream on top and coffee beside. Waiting for slanting shadows and hungry boys.
Waiting for this late summer day.