October 17th, 2010
09:00 AM ET

Letters to the President: #636 'How about them apples?'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: A long time ago in a galaxy a lot like this one, a president asked citizens for advice. And at least one took that request seriously enough to write a letter to the White House every since day since.

Dear Mr. President,

We went apple picking this morning which was good fun, as always. We were a tad late in the season, it appears, because many of the trees were already stripped by the marauding hordes of city folk who made it to the exurbs ahead of us. We had only three varieties to choose from and one was only fit for pies. Not that there is anything wrong with pie apples, but you get my point.

We have not missed an apple picking season since we moved here ten years ago. Sometimes we've been a little early, sometimes late, but we've always made it. And as a result, we've also grown choosier about our apples.

When we first appeared in the orchard years ago, we were so delighted with the tidy rows, the plump fruit, and the blue autumn sky, that we would fill our basket to overflowing in 20 minutes. Then we'd go home, spread them all over the kitchen counter and say, "What on earth are we going to do with all these apples?" Then we'd endure a couple of weeks of apple pie, apple cake, baked apples, plain apples, caramel apples, apple sauce, on and on. By the time the last three were shriveling in the refrigerator we would be declaring that we would never again pick so many. Until next year.

Now, however, we can linger a full hour or more poking, turning, hefting and eyeballing our selections and emerge from the field with only a half basket. See, our expectations have risen along with our experience. We’re not as easily impressed as we once were. The farm we frequent has made many improvements and actually offers a better experience than in previous years, including a high-wire walking goat act you wouldn’t believe. (Then again, you worked with Larry Summers, so who knows?). Still, where once we ran delighted through the rows, now we meander contently, but not exactly with enthusiasm we once brought along.

Much of life is this way, of course, and as we picked today I thought about you and your presidency a bit. When you were elected, the public at large was crazy happy about the newness of it all, and so were you. These days, not so much. But like the apple farmers, my only advice to you is to hang tough; have faith in your product even as you strive to make it better. The seasons change again and again, and the good harvest comes to those who keep working even in the bad years to make things better.

I hope all is well with you and yours. The visit with our Georgia Tech girl continues to go well. She and her sister went to have their hair cut together today, and emerged looking smashing.


Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Keep working Mr. President despite all the obstacles, only the strong survive and God is always with you.

    October 17, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  2. Ronnie

    Tom – You're great! – You can make the most simple things into an adventure – as an aspiring writer – I learn from you!

    October 17, 2010 at 9:35 am |
  3. Rachel

    Many of us remain ignorant of the issues and are stuck on things being run in the ways our parents said they should be. I pray we read more ask more questions because it will not be until we learn to think for ourselves that we will understand the definition of change. Good luck sir you have your work cutout for ya.

    October 17, 2010 at 9:34 am |