“When are you going to start making pies again?” With-a-Why asked last week. Local apples are ripe, and temperatures are cool enough to use the oven. More importantly, my older kids have been living in their apartment near campus, and homemade pie will give them an incentive to stop home.
So Wednesday I bought apples on my way home from work, and then I rolled out crusts while I talked to With-a-Why. He was supposed to be cleaning the living room, but instead, he began playing the piano, which is how he avoids his chores. He plays so beautifully that I can never ask him to stop for something as mundane as cleaning. I’d rather hear classical music than the vacuum cleaner, no matter how messy the living room is.
“Hey, send everyone a text to tell them I’m making pies,” I called out. My fingers were sticky with flour and shortening.
“Already did,” he said without even looking up from the piano.
By the time I pulled the pies from the oven, the house smelled like cinnamon and apple. I put the pies on the kitchen table and flipped a laundry basket over them to protect them from the cats as they cooled.
My husband arrived first; he’d been at the gym, working out. My daughter was next, her hair pulled in a ponytail in the manner of a grad student who has too much work to do. Then came Boy-in-Black, looking like he hadn’t had much sleep. “I spent all day grading physics exams,” he said. Shaggy Hair Boy and Smiley Girl were chatting happily with each other as they came in. Those two never seem to run out of things to talk about.
“I know we’ve got vanilla ice cream,” With-a-Why said as he rooted through the freezer. It’s crowded with quart-size bags of frozen tomatoes.
It’s a busy time of year for all of us. But we sat around the table, drinking hot tea and eating warm pie, talking as if we had all the time in the world. “Almost as good as Grandma’s pie,” Shaggy Hair Boy said to me, teasingly, and he moved to the piano, where he began playing jazz, the music weaving in and out of our conversation.