Peaches

9:00 p.m.

Bedtime. It has been a good day. We harvested the last of the September peaches–two flatbed trailers loaded with heaping bushel baskets.

For three weeks, at every meal, we’ve enjoyed huge crockery bowls full of sliced peaches with fresh cream, slightly sugared. No matter how many or how full the bowls, when the cleanup crew begins their work, every one is empty, scraped nearly clean.

This week, the kitchen crews have been working amid steaming pots, canning peach nectar, preserves, and sliced peaches for tasty winter treats. They’ve prepared and frozen dozens of pie fillings, ready to thaw and pop in pie shells.

We all have our favorite peach concoctions, of course.

I like to blend a peach picked fresh from the tree with unsweetened yogurt, vine-ripened berries, and fresh squeezed orange juice for a breakfast smoothie or mid-morning snack. Frozen in ice cube trays or small jars with a stick, this beverage makes a delicious pop sickle for the little ones too. And, I confess, another favorite of mine on a hot day.

Of course, the best peach treat is a fuzzy, yellow and pink orb, picked fresh from the tree, so ripe it drops into your hand at a touch, so full of sweet juice that when you bite into it, you have to lean out, mouth over the ground so the juice doesn’t spurt onto your shirt.

The tastiest peaches are messy. You don’t just lick your fingers, you lick your hand, and if no one is looking, maybe your wrist, getting every drop of nectar.

Much as I love them, right now, I can hardly bear the thought of one more peach. I had thought to tell more of the wedding trip, but my muscles are so tired from climbing up and down ladders and hefting bushel baskets that all I want to do is sit right here on my soft bed, pillows tucked round me, and drink this cup of soothing mint tea. Perhaps tomorrow.

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