HELLO, JENNY APPLESEED!

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I’m not a big fan of fruit. Children have the tendency to annoy me. And I’m not too fond of the great outdoors. However, I landed a temporary part-time job as a tour guide for elementary students at a local apple orchard. Perfect fit, right? Honestly, I’m having a great time. Some kids can be kind of annoying and the sun was pretty brutal the first week, but I really don’t mind working at the orchard and learning about all the different varieties of apples.

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Although I’m not a big fan of fruit, I don’t mind eating apples (strawberries on rare occasions), especially Swedish apple pie or apple crisp or an apple slushy found in the shop at work. OK, here’s my deal with fruit — I love anything fruit flavored. Strawberry daiquiries. Almost any kind of fruit juice (no tomato juice). Hard apple cider. Fruit smoothies. I just don’t like the actual fruit except for apples. Bananas are the worst. Bleh. So, working with apples isn’t a big deal.

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When the sun isn’t beating all the sweat out of me, I don’t mind walking around the orchard and talking to kids. My parents were teachers (actually, my dad is a volunteer math tutor), one of my sisters frequently volunteers her time at her kids’ schools, and my other sister is a substitute teacher so I figured I had a little experience with teaching. Not to mention, I taught Sunday School for a bunch of third graders about a decade ago.

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I forgot a group of 3- to 4-year-olds have a two-second attention span — “Hey, there’s a goat!” “Can I pick an apple?” “My dad says I can play with my toys after school.” “I like apple juice!” Sometimes kids are more interested in kicking grass around than listening to me babble about how to correctly pick an apple from a tree. And at least one kid in a group likes to be front and center and talk about everything underneath the sun.

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Despite having difficulty spotting Honey Crisp apples among other apples, I’m enjoying my time and learning a ton of information about apples. Also, apple slushies are AMAZING! So good, especially on a hot day. My favorite part? The animals. The owners have two sweet cats and a pretty little dog, and a mama goat and her two babies hang out under the pear tree during the peak season. My heart just melts every time I see the cute little animals.

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