The apples taunt her. She can hear them falling to the ground, thud after thud, footsteps moving closer. By now, she should have hired men. She should be putting in ten-hour days, picking the branches clean, sweeping the ground for cider. Instead Grace watches the trees knit together from neglect, snarling like uncombed hair.
“Open the orchard to pickers,” advises Ruth. Her silvery hair is wound into a tight knot on her head that makes her look efficient and smart, like she is storing it up there for the winter. “People are crazy for apples this time of year.”
“I could use the money.” Any money, Grace thinks.
“Paint some signs and see who shows up. You’ll be surprised.” Of course, Ruth is biased. Like everyone else in Rutland, Ruth is in on the apple picking, lending a hand at the Rudnick farm over by the lake.