An Apple from the Teacher #TuesdayTidbit #Jottings #Inspiration

I’ll never forget that day in 1972 when my fifth grade teacher at the Arizona State School for the Deaf and Blind gave me an apple, and it wasn’t because I was her star pupil, which I don’t think I was. Mrs. Jones, as I’ll call her, got it into her head that I needed to try foods I hadn’t eaten before. I don’t know why I was the only student singled out for this treatment.

After everyone else in the class had gone to the gym for physical education, I sat at my desk in the front row with this apple, while Mrs. Jones sat at hers, watching me. At first, I was only too glad not to have to go to P.E. But after I took the first bite of bitter apple, I would have given anything to be in the locker room, struggling to fasten the snaps on my gym suit. But Mrs. Jones insisted I stay there until I finish eating the apple.

A few minutes later, after managing to swallow a few more bites, I asked if I could get a drink of water from the fountain down the hall to wash down the bitter taste, but Mrs. Jones said no. She must have thought I was planning an escape, but that never occurred to me.

After a few more agonizing minutes, I managed to get the whole apple down. My stomach revolted, as I got up and made my way to her desk, intending to tell her I needed to use the restroom. But I realized I wouldn’t make it that far. I’d like to think that I regurgitated that apple all over that teacher, but common sense prevailed, and I used a nearby wastebasket instead. Since then, I haven’t been able to eat an apple by itself, although I like apple pie, apple sauce, etc. One bad apple can upset an entire barrel.

How about you? Is there an incident in your life that you’ll never forget. Please tell us about it.

A photo of Abbie smiling in front of a white background. She has short brown hair which is cut short and frames her face. She is wearing a bright red shirt and a dark, flowy scarf swirled with hues of purple, pinks and blues.

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?





Monday Musical Memories: Apple Tree/Apple Blossom

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

In 1976 when I was in eighth grade, and my family was living in Sheridan, Wyoming, where I’m still living, we moved into a three-story red brick house with an apple tree in the back yard. I’ve never liked the taste of fresh apples, but my parents and younger brother may have picked and eaten them. I don’t remember. Since I didn’t grow up during war time, I didn’t have a sweetheart to tell me not to sit under the apple tree with anyone else until he came marching home.

According to Wikipedia, the song, “Apple Blossom Time,” was published in 1920 and made popular by The Andrews Sisters and other artists. It was one of many songs I sang while working as a registered music therapist in nursing homes and other facilities for senior citizens. Here’s my rendition of a medley of this song and “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree,” also made popular by The  Andrews Sisters.



How about you? Did you have an apple tree while you were growing up? Did you sit under the apple tree with a lover or by yourself? Did you make pie, jam, or cider with the apples from your tree?

Happy Memorial Day!

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My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

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A Song About Apples? Not Really

During this time of year, our thoughts turn to apple pie, apple butter, apple sauce, etc. Years ago when I was single, I had an Apple computer and an idea for a satirical song I didn’t get around to writing. At our last Behind Our Eyes writers’ group meeting, it was suggested as a prompt that we write about apples, and the idea re-surfaced.

“Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree” was a song I sang many times in the fifteen years I worked as a registered music therapist in a nursing home. It was made popular by Glenn Miller and the Andrews Sisters during World War II. You can learn more at . To hear the original Andrews Sisters version, go to .

Nowadays, in light of our troops in the Middle East and today’s technology, this is how the song might have been written. Click on the link below to hear me sing it.


I e-mailed Mother.

I e-mailed Father.

Now I am e-mailing you.

I love my mother.

I love my father,

and you know I love you too.


Don’t start up your Apple computer with anyone else but me,

anyone else but me,

anyone else but me, no, no, no,

don’t start up your Apple computer with anyone else but me

till you come flying home.


Don’t go surfing the Internet with anyone else but me,

anyone else but me,

anyone else but me, no, no, no,

don’t go surfing the Internet with anyone else but me,

till you come flying home.


You’re on your own, but you’re not alone

in that desert far away.

Be true to me if you care for me

and listen when I say,

“Don’t start up your Apple computer with anyone else but me

till you come flying home,

till you, till you come flying home.”

What do you remember about apples?

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of We Shall Overcome, How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver, and That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

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