The peaches look fantastic, too. We’ve had some spectacular storms this spring, but so far [knock on wood!] the hail has fallen elsewhere and the fruit trees look beautiful. We’re expecting sweet juicy peaches and crisp, crunchy apples, and lots of other homegrown produce that’ll knock your socks off.
And when I say ‘we’ I mean my family. My parents and brother are directly involved in the daily operations of Manfull Orchards. They grow the produce. They tend the orchards. They keep things growing.
In my memory, though, they come from my great-grandfather. He lived to the ripe old age of 101, and my siblings and I had the good fortune of growing up across the road from him. On his 100th birthday, the newspaper did an interview. When asked the secret to such a long life he replied, “Hard work, eating eggs and Coca-Cola. I’ve eaten eggs every day for 90 years.”
And I can attest, he drank a two-liter of Coca-Cola every day, as well.
My brother and sisters and I were fortunate to grow up in the midst wise folks. Not only did we have the company of a century-old great-grandparent, but we had the daily — sometimes hourly — guidance of grandparents. My children never met my grandpa, but they talk about him often. His presence is still so very strong for all of us.
And we don’t have to look far to find him.
Grandma passed away last August, but her presence remains. Sometimes it’s almost palpable. I think it’s because their legacy lives on in each apple tree and tomato plant and patch of blue sky.
They taught us to love God.
They taught us to love the land.
Most importantly …
They taught us to love each other.
Unconditionally and always.
Life is really, really sweet. Even when it’s not.
Just keep on keeping on.
Enjoy the present, plan for the future and don’t take either for granted.
… if we do what we need to do as best we can.
Which is really the case in any situation.
Do what you need to do. Do it to the best of your ability.
Something to remember when you’re growing hundreds of tomatoes.
Just like family members. Individual parts of the whole.
Like Freckles, here. She showed up one day and isn’t leaving anytime soon.
Because she has eyes for him, only. And he treats her right — something she never knew in her short time on this earth.
And really … all of us have a short time on this earth.
Which is why we have to make the most of it, remember the best parts and pass them on to the next generation.
That’s what we should be.