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Life’s Coloring Book: A column by Suzi Walls for The Daily Herald

Do you like apple pie? Let me tell you where the best Granny Smith apple pies can be found: Mary’s Country Kitchen in Warriors Mark. You’d better call ahead though; they go fast. Before you begin thinking that my column has become an advertising venue, let me tell you that Mary’s apple pie is the basis for this week’s mystery story.
We were invited to bring Walzie’s Aunt Lovie and his cousins, Joyce and Marg, to a Memorial Day picnic at his brother’s house near Lewisburg. I heard Walzie on the phone discussing the menu with his brother when I heard my name. Ah yes, I got volunteered to make the dessert. I’m no Rachael Ray and not a big fan of baking, but heck, anybody can toss a brownie mix in the oven. Walzie turned up his nose.
“Come on, Susan,” he coaxed. “Why don’t you make a couple of apple pies to take with us?”
Hey, Cupcake, why don’t I just call Mary’s and buy a couple of those fabulous Granny Smith apple pies and pretend I baked them?” I was so proud of myself for thinking of that. And so I did just that: one with crumb topping, one two crust pie. (The crumb pie is my favorite; I wear it well on my hips!)
Memorial Day morning came – it was a beautiful sunny day. Aunt Lovie and her family piled into our VV (That’s short for vacation van. We can’t afford my dream RV that would break the bank to gas it up, so I’ve settled for the smaller version that still nearly breaks the bank to gas up.) Walzie carried the crumb pie and I had the other one in my hands. He put his gently in the cargo section of the van.
“Wait a minute, “I shouted to him. “I need to open the porch windows for the dogs in case it gets too hot today. I’ll be right there.”
And soon we were headed off across route 192 past Penn’s Cave. That’s a really nice drive across that route through the R.B. Winter State Park toward Lewisburg. Aunt Lovie doesn’t get to travel much, so this was a real treat for her. We arrived about noontime. Walzie went to the back of the van to get the dessert.
“Hey, Susan, there’s only one pie here,” Walzie said. “What did you do with the other pie?”
I handed it to you,” I spat. “You’re the one that lost the pie; maybe it slid under the seat. Check there.”
No pie.
“I’ll bet you set it on the roof and forgot to put it in the van. It’s probably lying in your driveway,” Aunt Lovie offered.
“Way to go, Walzie,” I pointed my finger at him. “A perfectly good Granny Smith pie. The birds are probably pecking at it right now.”
“I did not lose that pie,” poor Walzie defended himself. “You didn’t even give it to me.”
“Did too!” I argued. I was so sure of myself.
“Did not!”
“Did too! You probably ate the dadgum thing!”
Aunt Lovie finally got between us and assured me that one pie was sufficient and just calm the heck down. It’s only a pie for Pete’s sake. So I fretted all through the picnic. One would have thought it was my hard work and baking talents at stake. What the heck did happen to that pie? I just knew Walzie did something with it.
All the way home, everyone was guessing what happened to the pie. Was it mashed on the driveway with ten dozen little pecker marks in it? Maybe it’s sitting on the front steps? And then it hit me … remember opening the windows for the dogs? Suddenly, I knew where the pie was.
Now the key word there is WAS.
As we pulled into the driveway, our two dogs barked, jumped, and scratched at the glass door. (They do that all the time – like they’ve not seen us for a month.) And guess what caused their sticky little paw prints on the door; and the windows; and the porch carpet; and was all matted in their hair as if they’d rolled in it; and was dragged through the house into the kitchen and the family room; even was in sticky paw prints on the television screen? Oh yeah, the best Granny Smith apple pie in the valley.
Everybody laughed – except me! Who the heck was going to clean that mess? Not Walzie, I can assure you. I guess the little crow-eating redhead got her just reward. That’s what I get for laying the blame on poor ol’ innocent Walzie.
So I think I had better run down to Mary’s and get another dessert for tomorrow. Yep, those dogs are licking their chops. Settle down, boys, dessert is for dad and me!