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.
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?