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“A” is for Apple

I’m taking a food writing course this fall, hoping to hone my writing skills and discover more about myself as a potential food writer. Yesterday’s “Writing Prompt” (a fifteen-minute daily excercise) really hit me on who I am as a whole. The prompt is this: “Much has been made of the apple as cultural and literary symbol.  Write your own apple memory– be it the first apple pie you made, planting an apple tree (you Johnny Appleseed, you!), apple streudel, apple eaten down to the core, apple blossom parade or festival (there really are such things), drawing an apple on construction paper, the Wicked Witch’s apple in Snow White, apple whatever.”

Here’s my response:

I wish I could say that when prompted by the word “apple” that it conjures memories of the iconic fruit — so engrained in our society and culture through fairy tales, fables and lunch boxes. I could say that it harkens me back to my grandmother’s apple orchard, and her homemade applesauce that to this day, I cannot find any that compares. That I was always the first one served the steaming, fresh-from-the-pot sauce because I was a chubby kid and I wasn’t allowed to have sugar in mine.

I could say that it reminds me of the first time I ever visited my husband’s parent’s house and I picked an apple from their crabapple tree, not knowing that crabapples must be the spawn of the Sour Patch Kids.

I could also say that “apple” reminds me of learning to type in school on an old Brother electric typewriter, the hum of which is still stuck in my head. That the word “APPLE” was one of the first words they had us type in order to limber our fingers while learning the QWERTY keyboard.

Alas, no. None of these things come to mind immediately when hearing the word “apple”. These are memories that had to be dug out and re-cultivated. For me, when I hear “Apple”, it’s inherent meaning is my computer. My livlihood. Apple Computer. Macintosh. For over twenty years, I’ve had one incarnation or another of an Apple computer, usually several at one time, and cannot imagine my life without it. My first being an Apple II SE, a tiny all-in-one unit with a 12″ black and white screen and a whopping 20MB hard drive, which by the way, is displayed proudly on a shelf — I never had the heart to get rid of it. So even though the apple is the daddy of all fruits, that which keeps the doctor away, or poisons wayward princesses, to me, it’s home for another reason. It sustains me as a designer and every morning when I sit down at my desk and look at that little apple with the bite out of its right side, I know that today, life is good.

 

Dust, must, ink and sweat

 

Relishing Caldwell’s Carnegie Library

I can still remember the smell of the first library I ever visited. Caldwell’s Carnegie Library was built in 1913 by an undocumented architect. It’s brick facade and deep portico entrance is still iconic in Caldwell, as the building sits stately on the main street that goes out of town. My sole memory of this library is the children’s section in the basement. I remember making my way down the concrete steps to the outdoor, separate entrance on the side of the building. The offices and adult sections were on the main floor, and honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever been through the main entrance of the building. It was traded in the mid 70’s for the new building, and I was still so young, that the children’s section was all that was important at the time. My great-aunt gave me my first libary card, and would take me and my sister there after school for readings and puppet shows. The deal was that we never left with fewer than 3 books each. Read more

Design Love: Business Card-palooza at the IFBC

As a graphic designer, it’s in my nature to be drawn to good design, and I feel that business cards can be little works of art if done right. So in addition to meeting some fabulous people at the IFBC in Portland, I also collected a slew of creative cards that I’ll file away as inspiration for future designs. I especially love the ones with the photos on the back. Those may have to go up collage-style on my bulletin board in my office.

Tip of the weekend: don’t dismiss that badge hanging around your neck at your next conference. It most likely is a plastic sleeve, so store your own cards behind your badge so they’re close at hand. It took all of ten minutes for me to tire of diving into my bag to get a card, and this convenient trick made networking much more streamlined.