I picked the first peach this week. It was so sweet and juicy! I forget from one year to the next how wonderful the fresh peaches taste. Now the poor limbs are sagging from the weight of all the ripening fruit. I can see the tree from my office window. Tomorrow morning I need to take the colander out and fill it. I’ll take some peaches to a friend and some to the neighbor. There’ll be plenty left for us to eat and freeze.
When I was a young girl I didn’t think it was so wonderful to watch the fruit ripening. When it got ripe it meant more work for me! I took some grapes (also ripening this week) to my Sunday School teacher and we reminisced about cutting grapes and picking peaches and chopping cotton. She, too, is a transplant- living first in Arkansas, then California, then here.
I spent many summers in California picking peaches, cutting grapes, and chopping and picking cotton. Also spent some winters picking a few oranges and olives. It seemed like there was always something to harvest in California.
One summer I worked in the “dry yard” cutting peaches. For some reason I had the bright idea that standing in the shed all day would be better than standing on a ladder. Shows how smart I was as a teenager! After about three hours of cutting peaches, smelling sulfur, and swatting at bees I was ready to go back to picking! But of course I’d agreed to work in the shed for the season, so that’s what I did.
When we moved to Oklahoma my harvesting days were over. Except for a little work in the vegetable garden, I avoided the fields. For a while I even vowed that as an adult I wouldn’t own a hoe or pick anything off a tree. How quickly we forget! I’ve gone full circle again, voluntarily. I guess it’s true- you can take the girl out of the field, but she’ll eventually miss it. I like the feel of a hoe in my hands. I like to pick fresh peaches. I like to cut grapes off my own vine. And I like to be outside, even though I seem to spend a inordinate amount of time on this crazy computer! So in the morning you’ll find me outside, picking peaches and cutting grapes…just like the old days.