The American flag waves proudly in our neighborhood on so many occasions--Memorial Day, 4th of July, Veteran's Day...this year we added a new occasion to the list: Johnny Appleseed's birthday.
Johnny Appleseed (his real name was John "The Worm" Chapman) was an American Pioneer who spent 50 years travelling the Midwest. He created apple orchards in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Some of those trees still bear apples to this day. (OK, you got me. I made up "The Worm." But everything else is true. I think.)
It is hard to know for sure because there are many stories about Johnny Appleseed in American Folklore. Some say he wore a tin pot on his head and walked around barefoot. In one story, a rattlesnake tries to bite Johnny's foot but he can't because the fangs can't puncture Johnny's thick skin. Johnny was known as friendly and kind, even to animals. In another tale, he is dancing with bears.
So, maybe some of the stories are exaggerated but Johnny still seems like a great guy and one worth celebrating. That's where Katherine's expert party planning skills come into play. For the table setting, she made apple napkin rings. The centerpiece was, of course, a row of shiny red apples.
Then we invited some guests to the party. Pop Pop and Uncle Stu were happy to participate. We sang the Johnny Appleseed grace and dined on some "American" fare of oven-fried chicken, succotash, biscuits, and apple sauce. And, of course, apple pie for dessert. Uncle Stu even brought the ice cream.
After dinner we tested our knowledge of John Chapman's life with a little trivia game. Pop Pop declared himself the winner, but I suspect he might have had a little creative point totaling because I thought I was the Amazing Apple Trivia Queen. Good food and fun times with family. Thanks, Johnny Appleseed, for giving us an excuse to celebrate.
The Johnny Appleseed Grace
Oh, The Lord is good to me
And so I thank the Lord
For giving me
The things I need
The sun and the rain and the apple seed
The Lord is good to me.