Sunday, September 28, 2008

Johnny Appleseed

Friday was Johnny Appleseed Day. I didn't get to post then, but here are some thoughts today in the form of the Friday Five, which comes from here.

September 26, 1774 was his birthday. "Johnny Appleseed" (John Chapman) is one of America's great legends. He was a nurseryman who started out planting trees in western New York and Pennsylvania, but he was among those who were captivated by the movement west across the continent.

As Johnny traveled west (at that time, the "West" was places like Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois) he planted apple trees and sold trees to settlers. With every apple tree that was planted, the legend grew. A devout Christian, he was known to preach during his travels. According to legend, Johny Appleseed led a simple life and wanted little. He rarely accepted money and often donated any money he received to churches or charities. He planted hundreds of orchards, considering it his service to humankind. There is some link between Johny Appleseed and very early Arbor Day celebrations.

So, in honor of this interesting fellow, let's get on with the questions!

1. What is your favorite apple dish?
This is hard for me to decide. I love apples, but I love them as apples. I'll eat almost any kind at any time. I ate a a delicious spice cake once with chunks of apples in it. If I could ever find a recipe for that... I'd be thrilled.

2. Have you ever planted a tree? If so was there a special reason or occasion you can tell us about?
When I was in grade school, we used to receive little pine trees on Arbor Day. I remember planting a few of them in our yard. We moved away and now I live across the country from where I was raised, so I don't how the trees turned out.

3. Does the idea of roaming around the countryside (preaching or otherwise) appeal to you? Why or why not?
There is some appeal to the idea of traveling and preaching, but I really like getting to know a congregation. I believe my preaching and teaching is better shaped by knowing the needs and joys of the congregation. Maybe when I'm much older, I'll enjoy a career as an Alaskan circuit rider. (On a sled?)

4. Who is a favorite "historical legend" of yours?
I love the story of the name "teddy bear". I'm fascinated by President Theodore Roosevelt. The story is told that he was bear-hunting and hadn't seen one. Finally his assistants managed to trap a bear and tied it to a tree, asking TR to shoot it. He refused to do so and the story hit the newspapers shortly thereafter. Then toy manufacturers came out with little stuffed bears- calling them "Teddy bears".

5. Johnny Appleseed was said to sing to keep up his spirits as he traveled the roads of the west. Do you have a song that comes when you are trying to becheerful, or is there something else that you often do?
I love the hymn "My Life Flows on in Endless Song". See my sermon about it here and a separate post about it here.That songs shores up my strength and keeps me focused. It also helps me to cope with stress, sadness, fear and being afraid. "The Lord is good to me," sang Johnny Appleseed. I agree, so "how can I keep from singing."


Silent said...

Found you via RevGals. Welcome!

Here is an apple cake recipe from my family. It's a mild spice cake flavor.

3 Tbs butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup sifted flour
3 cup diced apples
1/4 cup chopped nuts
1 tsp vanilla

Cream shortening and sugar. Add egg. Add dry ingredients. Stir in diced apples, nuts, and vanilla. Pour into 8x8x2 inch pan. Bake 45 minutes at 350 degree.

Hot Cup Lutheran said...

welcome to revgals!

Deb said...

Hello -
Welcome to RevGals! I do like the hymn you mentioned, and have been known to remind myself of "God at work" through music.

"Silent" gave you an apple cake recipe that is almost identical to one from my family... It's good warm (with ice cream) or cold (yummy with coffee!)