There were ten children. Now they are older; some of them gone, some of them in their 90’s and traveling to Paris.
|My Grandma. One of the Ten.|
They move slowly now and I don’t think they tell me enough stories (there are never enough stories).
I’ve noticed though, that if you put them near some fresh fruit and give them a pairing knife, they start working and then they start talking.
I stood in my mother’s kitchen by the sink with a basket full of peaches. The smell was summer. I started to peel and slice and sugar and bag, thinking of frozen peaches in winter. Frozen peaches for a frozen season. I never do that sort of Little House on The Prairie thing, but I have three boys now and they eat. And eat.
|off to the orchard, an ancient practice in the summer|
She came in and offered to help me peel. Together we stood over the sink, she peeled and I sliced. She told me about the summers of her youth, with the tin wash bins full of peaches and the ten kids sitting under the tree, peeling and slicing.
She said they hated doing it and the peaches weren’t free stone, but her Daddy was usually around to pry the peach away from it’s pit. It was a family affair.
In the wintertime, they would be glad for the jars of peaches, were they half gallon jars? I don’t remember. After school they would grab a jar and eat it. They didn’t have much money, but they had a lot of gold, syrupy sweet and ready for ten mouths to eat.
She mentioned again how much they despised sitting outside in the summer heat, peeling and peeling peaches. I asked her why she was helping me then, and she laughed and said, “I guess it’s just something you get trained do. It brings back memories now.”
There’s magic in the domestic arts, and together, over my Mamma’s sink, we preserved the summer bounty and the memories of another place.
What makes you feel connected to your family? What brings back memories for you?