Bringing Back Memories

When my mother was in town Wednesday we stopped at an orchard’s fruit stand to buy some peaches.  It brought back a lot of memories.

My mother’s father, “Papa,” had a peach orchard.  I may be a little biased, but they were the best peaches in the world.  Of course, there’s nothing better than a fresh peach.

People could go out to the orchard and pick their own peaches, or they could stop at one of the two peach stands in town.

As part of the family, I worked one of the peach stands for several summers.  It was hot.  The peach fuzz made you itch all the way up to your elbows.  The days were long.  But it paid pretty well, and it was great fun.

People from all over the county stopped by, bought some peaches, and visited for a little while.  My mother brought me lunch and cold drinks throughout the day.  I think that’s when my love of Sonic diet cokes began.

I remember, as a child, going out to the orchard and riding around with Papa to check the trees.  I can still smell the inside of his truck — gasoline and dirt!

We would stop every so often and pick a peach.  People were always telling us how the peaches tasted best.  Pies, ice cream, over cereal, or in a cobbler.  But Papa’s favorite way, and mine, too, was to pick one straight from the tree, wipe it off, and eat it right there in the middle of the orchard.  I remember going home with peach juice all over my chin and shirt.  It was great.

Just before Papa died in 1992, he decided it was time to give up the peach business.  By then he was 80.  He had the peach trees dozed over.

That fall he called me at school to tell me what he’d done and said, “You can be a little sad with me.”  He knew I would miss them, too.  I asked if he pushed every single tree, and there was a pause.  “Well, I may have left one or two down by the lake.”  I wasn’t surprised.  I didn’t think he could push over every one.

It was strange to drive through town in the summers and not see one of the peach stands in their old familiar places.

I miss my grandfather and his peaches.  After he died, I never bought a peach, even though it’s my favorite fruit, until Wednesday.

The peaches Mama and I bought are good.

But they don’t compare to the ones from the orchard of my childhood, grown by a man who loved them so.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Quirky is a Compliment
    Jul 26, 2010 @ 11:36:46

    What a wonderful story! I swear I can smell the peaches right here. Thanks for sharing such a sweet memory about your papa and his peaches.


  2. Your PIC
    Jul 26, 2010 @ 12:07:05

    sigh….i remember…i remember with you and am a little sad…


  3. Kelley
    Jul 26, 2010 @ 12:56:25

    And for the record, peaches “up north” taste NOTHING like peaches down south. Nothing.


  4. pendy
    Aug 03, 2010 @ 18:50:28

    Lovely. My mama and I have a similar ‘peach thing’ going on. 🙂


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