Reinhardt Family History
Memories of Eggs and Chickens
Stories from Neil Reinhardt
How My Love of Cherry Pies Caused Me to Retire Early
Em always made the best cherry pies with a flaky crust that would melt in your mouth. When I read in the paper that the cherries were ripe in Door county we decided to take a little ride and get them at the peak of their goodness.
On a bright sunny day we headed to Manitowoc and then north to the heart of the cherry country. As we traveled through the rich farm land, we noticed the farmers busy making hay and the many black and white cows in the green pastures.
There was a cool breeze flowing off Lake Michigan as we traveled through Manitowoc and Kewaunee counties and into Door county, the heart of cherry country.
We stopped at Sturgeon Bay for lunch along with the many vacationers. Door county is famous for it's vacation resorts along with it's cherries. After spending a little time in Sturgeon Bay, we again headed north. We did not travel very far when we came to a sign that said "Pick your own Cherries"'
The branches of the trees were hanging down with the red, ripe fruit. It did not take very long to pick all the cherries needed to make the delicious pies Em would bake when she took the cherries from the freezer in the winter. We did not need a ladder as we could pick all we needed standing on the ground.
We had a picnic cooler with us and we soon had it full of the red ripe fruit.
The man at the orchard told us to stop at the house and put cold water in the cooler, so that the cherries would float and not get bruised on the ride home.
We were soon back home and the work began, pitting the cherries, making them ready for the freezer to await being turned into cherry pies or other goodies.
A few years later and several months before I planned on retiring, I again saw an ad in the newspaper to pick your own cherries. This time it was closer to home in a town called New Holstein. Em was very busy preserving our large red raspberry crop and couldn't go along, but the thought of a fresh cherry pie tempted me to go alone.
When I got to the orchard the first thing I noticed was the large trees. A ladder had to be used to climb in the tree to pick the cherries. When I had a pail full of the ripe fruit, I started down the ladder. Suddenly I slipped, and in trying to save the cherries I had just picked, I fell to the ground and broke my arm.
Then I had to call Em to have a neighbor bring her to get me and the pickup, and the few cherries I had salvaged.
Because of the broken arm I would be unable to work for three months. By that time it would be past the date I had planned on retiring, so I took my retirement right then.
Now when someone asks 'When did you retire?' I tell them I was on a ladder picking cherries when I fell, and I retired as soon as I hit the ground.