Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Healing Power of Love & Apples

   Today I read this great true story on the power of love and apples to sustain life and keep hope alive, so I've got to share it.  I found it in a book I borrowed from our Center Christian Church library, Night Light, A Devotional for Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson, published in 2000.  The Dobsons verified that this story actually happened.
   On a bitter cold winter day in 1944, a young boy named Herman paced in a Nazi concentration camp, trying to keep his emaciated body warm.  Then he saw movement beyond the camp's two barbed wire fences, with 20 feet between them.  Families were working in the field, and he saw a young girl near the outer fence.  Watching for guards, he hurried to the inner fence.
   She looked at him with sad eyes, so he asked if she had anything to eat.  She reached in her pocket and pulled out a red apple.  She looked left and right for guards, knowing if they caught her they  would shoot them both, then she threw the apple over both fences to him.
   The next day, Herman returned to that same spot at the fence at about the same time, and the girl  threw him another apple.  For seven months she brought him apples.  "She was feeding more than my belly, this angel from heaven," Herman wrote later.  "She was feeding my soul."
   One day Herman got news that the prisoners would be shipped to another concentration camp.  When he met the girl at the fence that day, he told her, and said not to bring him an apple the next day.  Months passed, all his family had been killed, and only the memory of this girl sustained him until the war ended.  Later, Herman immigrated to America.
    In 1957, Herman lived in New York City, and a friend convinced him to go on a blind date with Roma, another immigrant.  She asked him where he was during the war, and he told her he was in a concentration camp in Germany.  She looked wistful, so he asked about it, and she told him she grew up near a Nazi concentration camp.  "There was a boy there, a prisoner, and for a long while I used to visit him every day," Roma said.  "I used to bring him apples.  I would throw the apple over the fence, and he would be so happy."  Then she sighed and said she assumed he'd been killed like so many others, but she couldn't bear to think about that.
   Herman asked, "And did that boy say to you one day, 'Do not bring me an apple tomorrow.  I am being sent to another camp'?"  Roma said yes, but wondered how he could know that.  Herman answered, "Because I was that young boy."
   Herman proposed, Roma accepted, they married, and they were still happily married 43 years later.

'Enterprise' red and 'GoldRush' yellow apples keep 7 to 10 months in a cooler or refrigerator in top condition.
   We'll still have great-tasting 'Enterprise' red and 'GoldRush' yellow apples, and 'Kanza' and 'Pawnee' pecans, for sale for the next 3 months or so.  From Dec. 1 to May 31 we're open by appointment, so call or e-mail a day or so in advance and leave a message saying when you're coming to get apples and/or pecans.  The phone rings in the house, and I check for messages every few hours, but on warmer days I'll be pruning in the orchards or sorting apples in the sales building.  For apple and pecan prices, scroll down three posts.  For highway detour directions, scroll down two posts.