Lisa Ricard Claro – Author

Romance is good for your heart!

When a Man Makes the Climb: How D’You Like Them Apples?

Posted on Sep 28, 2016 by Lisa Ricard Claro   28 Comments | Posted in The Naked Truth


Photo courtesy of Russ2009 via

My eldest daughter is changing her last name in two weeks and three days. She is getting married to the guy who climbed the apple tree.

Aside from his stellar tree climbing skills, her intended is an intelligent man of fine character, quick wit, and deep-rooted family values. We love him to pieces and couldn’t be happier about their upcoming nuptials. I take a little credit because I’m the one who convinced my daughter to try online dating just for fun—I know, I know. Shh. But listen, I knew she was discerning enough to weed out the wackos and smart enough to take the necessary precautions if meeting someone in person, and she did. The girl doesn’t have three-soon-to-be-four college degrees for nothing.

And so to the tree climbing. You knew I’d get back to that, right?

When my girls were young, I told them the allegory of the apple tree. I don’t know who came up with this, so I can’t credit them by name, but here’s the retelling as I told it to my daughters.

Imagine there is an apple tree in a meadow. It is a tall, strong tree, laden with many apples, some scattered throughout the tree, many on low-hanging branches, easy to pluck. Countless others lie on the ground, and for a man on the go, those are certainly the easiest to choose.

At the top of the tree are the best and brightest apples, but of course these are the most difficult to reach. Every man who passes the tree notices the top-of-tree apples and wishes those beauties were closer to the ground and easier to access. The majority of men will sigh and wish they had the time and skills necessary to climb the tree, because it is clear that those apples at the top are the best. But they will choose an apple from the ground or one of the lower branches and go on their way.

Women, I told my daughters, are the apples on the tree, and on this tree, each apple chooses where it will grow—top, middle, bottom. Choose to be the apple at the highest point of the tree. Don’t settle for middle or low-hanging. And understand that many men will pass the tree and gaze longingly at the top, but the only one worthy of you is the one willing to forego the easier-to-reach apples. He is the one willing to make the climb. Don’t ever settle for a man who thinks he can have you simply by shaking the tree.

My daughter’s intended made the climb. They began as friends, though he made it clear he hoped for more. It took three months of climbing before he finally heard her say, “Okay, I guess you’re for real. Let’s give this a try.”  It would have been easier for him, when he realized the effort required, to say adios and leave her on her lofty branch while he spent his time collecting lower-hanging apples. But even as she knew her own worth, so did he know his, and so set his sights on that one apple at the top of the tree—and he put on his climbing gear.

The moral of the story, daughters, is this: Do not hold your worth cheaply or others will do likewise. The choice to be at the top of the tree belongs to you and you alone. If you don’t want a man who is interested only in an easy plucking, then put yourself out of reach except for the one who recognizes you are worth the climb. And remember, the view is better from the top, for both of you.

So there you have it, buttercup. If you’re a feminist, please don’t beat me about the head and shoulders for comparing women to apples waiting to be plucked. If that’s what you came away with, then I told it wrong. No, this story is about the importance of identifying one’s own self-worth—choosing what we will settle for and what we won’t. It applies as equally to the man as it does to the woman. Consider: A man who thinks little of himself is less likely to attempt the climb.

A man and a woman who understand their own worth and wait for the right person to recognize it also, are better able to respect and appreciate that gift when they find it. That’s one of the cornerstones of a happy marriage.

David, my dear darling, we’re glad you put on your climbing gear. And with the wedding just around the corner, I might suggest next a pair of hiking boots for both you and Stephanie. Sneakers are okay for a walk in the park, but marriage requires a stronger pair of shoes. The good news is, you’re making this climb together. As long as there is love in every step taken, you’re both in for a wonderful journey.

See you next week for more of the Naked Truth. 🙂


Romance is good for your heart! To purchase your copy of Love Built to Last, Love to Believe, or Love to Win in eBook or print, go to AmazonBarnes & NobleBlack Opal BooksKobo, or AllRomance.

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28 Responses to "When a Man Makes the Climb: How D’You Like Them Apples?"

  1. Comment by ButtonsMom2003
    September 28, 2016 at 6:16 pm  

    Beautiful words, as always. Buttons has had 4 good days in a row now. We are hoping for the best. I’m eating a piece of pizza and he is begging. Last week he wouldn’t have. 🙂

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      October 4, 2016 at 8:41 am  

      Please keep me updated on the little guy! I’m glad he’s doing better this week.

  2. Comment by Pat
    September 28, 2016 at 6:22 pm  

    Lisa, this little tale explains perfectly what many people (both male and female) need to know. Don’t settle for less than what you deserve.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      October 4, 2016 at 8:41 am  

      Yes, Pat. Exactly!

  3. Comment by MerCyn
    September 28, 2016 at 6:51 pm  

    Wonderful and simple story that makes an important statement. And congratulations Mother of the Bride!

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      October 4, 2016 at 8:42 am  

      Thanks! Things are a little crazy here now that we’re getting close, but that’s okay. It’s a good crazy. 🙂

  4. Comment by claudia mundell
    September 28, 2016 at 7:00 pm  

    Such a wonderful blog today…I want to share it with my nieces. Explain so much what I have tried to tell them, but you said it better!!!!!!

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      October 4, 2016 at 8:43 am  

      Thanks, Claudia. I wish I knew where that originated so I could give the proper attribution, but I couldn’t find a reference. I hope your nieces take it to heart. 🙂

  5. Comment by Laraine
    September 28, 2016 at 7:06 pm  

    The thing I love about you Lisa, is that you are a true romantic, but in the sweetly practical sense of the word. I’m so happy for your daughter and your family.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      October 4, 2016 at 8:43 am  

      Thanks, Laraine!

  6. Comment by Sioux
    September 28, 2016 at 8:14 pm  

    Mother of the Bride–What a wonderful weekend you will have. In not even a blink of the eye, your girl will be married. And your post was great–good advice for young men AND young women.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      October 4, 2016 at 8:45 am  

      Yes, Sioux, it is coming quickly. We’re excited!

  7. Comment by Linda O'Connell
    September 28, 2016 at 9:24 pm  

    This is a wonderful post, and the message should be in every classroom for both genders. I know you’re getting so excited about the big day! Ever consider writing for a teen publication on this topic?

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      October 4, 2016 at 8:45 am  

      I hadn’t Linda, no. But I will now. 🙂

  8. Comment by Jerri Ricard
    September 28, 2016 at 9:41 pm  

    Well, of course Our girl is the best, most wonderful prize apple on the tree! Good job David that you recognized the prize she is and made the climb! We love you and appreciate you for the prize you are as well. Me and Uncle Craig are so happy for you. You are joing a most wonderful and loving family.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      October 4, 2016 at 8:46 am  

      🙂 I’ll pass along your good wishes.

  9. Comment by Cathy C. Hall
    September 28, 2016 at 11:24 pm  

    I just love happy endings, Lisa, don’t you? 😉

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      October 4, 2016 at 8:47 am  

      You know I do! 🙂

  10. Comment by Robert Robinson
    September 29, 2016 at 9:40 am  

    “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.”–Prov.31.10
    I do wish them all the best. 🙂

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      October 4, 2016 at 8:47 am  

      Thank you, Rob.

  11. Comment by Donna Volkenannt
    September 29, 2016 at 12:00 pm  

    What a wonderful teacher you have been for your daughters. I love the apple tree story. Best wishes to your daughter on her upcoming wedding!

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      October 4, 2016 at 8:48 am  

      Thanks so much, Donna.

  12. Comment by Stephanie Trietsch
    September 29, 2016 at 6:57 pm  

    Low hanging fruit…I’very always wondered where that came from! Passing it on to my daughter #1.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      October 4, 2016 at 8:49 am  

      Hope she enjoys the story and takes the message to heart.

  13. Comment by Tomi Rues
    October 3, 2016 at 11:51 am  

    What a great post! I will be sharing this with my teenage daughters. What a good reminder for love and life.
    I tweeted this and posted it on the fb page that supports my blog

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      October 4, 2016 at 8:50 am  

      Thank you, Tomi!

  14. Comment by Lynn M. Obermoeller
    October 3, 2016 at 5:45 pm  

    What a beautiful post!

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      October 4, 2016 at 8:50 am  

      Thanks, Lynnie!

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