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Fruitful abundance

It’s Cherry season here in Michigan.

Yep, earlier this week, my favorite neighborhood orchard ( you can say that here ) announced the Cherries were ready for picking.

photo courtesy of Robinette's Apple Haus

photo courtesy of Robinette’s

I am 50 years old and I still can’t believe that we live less than a mile from a cherry orchard.

You see, when I was a girl, every summer  Mom would place an order with “the Fruit Truck,” the one that brought fresh fruit through the Rockies to us fruit-deprived folks out on the prairie.  That trip originated in B.C., in the Okanagan Valley.   She’d order cases of peaches, pears, plums, apricots and cherries and we’d wait in anticipation of a dining room table covered in sweet, heavenly goodness.     She canned much of it but we enjoyed our fair share, too.

Oh how I remember those trips home from the store, my siblings and I sneaking handfuls of cherries from the box in the Oldsmobile’s back window.  Gulping them down secretly, thinking no one would know, would never suspect our cherry stained faces or fingers.

Cherry season takes me back to being 9 again; to lazy summer days, fans running, flies buzzing, and horses standing still.  It takes me back to weeding the garden, swim lessons, and sleeping in the tent.

Cherry season brings me to the tastes of my youth; to moments enjoying life’s simple pleasures.  To corn on the cob with butter, peach pie, a roasted hot dog on a sticky summer’s night, and watermelon for breakfast.

My family here doesn’t get it: they’ve always lived with fruitful abundance.  They don’t understand when I skip the candy and the chocolate and head to the pool with an armful of fresh fruit instead.

Visiting home last summer, I smiled when I saw the bowl of apricots on my brother’s kitchen table, the peach pie at my sister’s, the cherries at Mom’s house.   There’s a kinship we share, and it’s one that was enhanced by fruit.

What summer treat takes you right back to your childhood?

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Categories: Faith, Family, Food, Home, Joy, Life, Personal, Seasons, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

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23 thoughts on “Fruitful abundance

  1. home made ice cream 😉

  2. Oh my goodness what a lot within a picker’s reach! Do you need to stand on a ladder to pick ’em?

    • Not necessarily!! But it’s $1.75/lb to pick and $2.75 to buy pre-picked … I cheated and bought pre-picked. And have eaten quite a few in 24 hours 🙂 MJ

  3. cooper

    i love cherries – especially in vanilla ice cream :>) The one thing i have not been able to master in my baking experience is a good cherry pie (pie!!!) all the recipes i’ve tried have left me with a crust and a center that falls completely apart.

    As for summertime treats that take me back – i hate to say this – good humor popsicles. growing up in suburbia – every summer day was spent in anticipation of the good humor truck. We called the driver Cisco (I guess after The Cisco Kid – he was wrinkled old guy, perpetually chomping on a cigar) and seeing what the special of the week was. Mind you, you had to save you money for the special because it was 25 cents – more than any of the “regular” popsicles. And it was always something kewl like toasted almond or strawberry shortcake – or that one they made that had the chocolate candy bar in the middle.

    • I had another handful of cherries this morning :). My Mom’s secret for cherry pie was a little tapioca in with the berries/juice (thickens ’em up).

      Living on the farm, there was no ice cream truck, but I do feel the magic you describe when the grandkids are visiting and that truck comes up the hill, ringing it’s bell 🙂

      What can be wrong with an iced treat on a hot summer’s day? nothing, I say 🙂

      Cisco! That’s one cool nickname!
      MJ

  4. I grew up 2.5 hours from The Okanagan. Your post took me back. Thank you

    • We prairie kids talk of it with great reverence! We also drove through there in the summertime on our way to relatives in White Rock and Victoria. Loved camping there, being a tourist and, of course, the cherries. Mom & Dad had to keep our paws out of the goods or they’d end up with a station wagon full of sick kids… 🙂

      That is God’s country, of that I’m sure.
      MJ

  5. Pingback: Cherry compote | Green and Ginger

  6. Pingback: Hot Summer Days – Lead.Learn.Live.

  7. loved it. 🙂
    R

  8. We had 26 fruit trees in our yard. The apricots were my favs because you just can’t buy apricots as sweet as they are ripe from the tree. They are too fragile so they get picked green. Yuck! We had cherry trees and mulberries too. No one plants fruit trees in their yard these days so they don’t know what fresh ripe fruit tastes like. Oh yes, we had the Mr. Softee ice cream truck too. Yum! I still love summertime best!

    • Yum Yum and Yum. We had crab apples, raspberry bushes, strawberries, watermelon & cantaloupe + some wild plums. Mom picked and canned nearly everything, she made some fabulous jams that I would dive for today if they were around to be had! Fresh apricots are delightful, and you were sure fortunate to have them in your yard 🙂

      MJ

  9. Memory filled post! It was a joy to read.

  10. Nearly every Sunday in the summer, we would drive “down the shore” in New Jersey to visit my grandmother. My father was a big “back roads” proponent and we would always stop at a local farm stand (remember, it IS The Garden State) and pick up tomatoes, melons, and peaches. But for me, it was always the peaches. I usually ate the first one by the time we got back in the car.

    • I like how your Dad thought 🙂 I’m a “back roads” driver myself, time allowed :).

      Fresh produce — ahh … anything better than a fresh tomato sandwich in summer? Maybe a peach, yes, that’s it.

      Happy travels!
      MJ

  11. Peaches, girlfriend. But the whole local crop was lost to two freak hail storms…so South Texas peaches will have to do. Thank God we can still stop and buy them on the side of the road. How weird to buy them in a store…

    • I hear ya; our cherries were decimated by a spring freeze last year. This year’s are extra special. And yes, roadside is where it’s at 🙂

      MJ

  12. I guess I grew up in fruitful abundance. I’ve never had an appreciation for cherries. But I do remember looking forward to wedges of watermelon. Mmmm! 🙂

    • Watermelon is another absolute favorite of mine! In the summer, there’s always a big slice in the fridge 🙂 Yesterday I bought a pint of fresh apricots from the 100 year old orchard down the road. I don’t think I’ve ever had them fresh but here’s to trying something new!! MJ

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