Sunday, June 17, 2012

just peachy

To plan or not to plan?

I know some people who don't do anything without planning. And sometimes I do plan things. But not planning can work. Several years ago, I was at my sister's classroom as she finished up her last few days of her contract. After lunch we were discussing our plans for the summer. And then we decided we wanted to take the kids to the beach - right away. We made a few calls, ran home and threw a few things into a suitcase, and were on our way by 7:30. We reached the beach just after sunrise the next morning. It was one of our best beach trips ever. Around here we often fly by the seat of our pants. So when my niece called and asked, "I know this is spur of the moment, but we are going to pick peaches. Do you want to go?" Of course I said yes.

We grabbed all of our buckets and baskets, drove to the orchards, and started picking. The trees were loaded. And the smell was heavenly. We did have to watch for the honey bees. But picking was easy.

Sometimes the best ones were just out of reach, so we made Laynie climb the tree. That helped to reach some but not all. It was so hard to leave peaches on the tree.

The ground under the trees was covered with peaches that had already fallen. Sometimes when I tried to pick one peach, two more would fall to the ground. Occasionally we squished one while trying to reach a perfect peach. Everyone was glad that we had worn tennis shoes instead of flip flops.

Some limbs were just filled with perfect peaches, and I couldn't stop picking even when my hands got full.

Our buckets filled quickly. Sister had such a hard time not picking every single peach. She didn't want to leave any to waste.

But soon every bucket, basket, and tub was full. We loaded the truck and drove to the front of the orchard.

We had lots of peaches but couldn't leave without a few blueberries. Eli didn't really care what we were picking - it all looked like balls to him. And he just loves having all of his people in one spot.

Maybe we should have picked blueberries first because it didn't take me long to figure out that my bucket wasn't filling up nearly as fast. And it was much hotter without the shade of the trees. I gave up first. Laynie loves blueberries and was determined to keep picking, but she gave up soon after me. We had to drag Momma out of her row.

When I got home, I washed all of my fruit and left them on the table until the next morning. I've made peach jam, peach marmalade, and canned peaches. Friday night we ate with friends. I made pound cake with peaches and rum sauce. We also had frozen peach drinks. And I still have some peaches left.

It wasn't a planned trip. I had to do some extra work the next few days, but I'll have yummy peach jam and marmalade to eat all winter long. And we had a great afternoon.And those peach drinks were perfect for a hot afternoon swim.  Doing things spur of the moment can make some of the best memories.

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