Me: "Who has the best seat in the house, me or daddy?"

Adam: "Well, Daddy's is nice, but yours is best. Your's is squishier."

Saturday, July 7, 2012


If you go to the farmer's market 
with the early birds, your best deals are on
"Cosmetically Challenged" produce.

If you show up right before they close down for the day because you see no point 
in setting an alarm on a Saturday, you get some screamin' deals,
 'cuz no farmer wants to bring food back to the farm.

I spent the week carefully ripening my screamin'-deal-peaches .  I once learned from our local store produce clerk that if you let fruit touch each other, those touching spots get too much ethylene gas and become over-ripe and even spoil before the rest of the same piece of fruit is ripe.  Even the surface they sit upon can cause the bottom to over ripen.  So to perfectly ripen the fruit you set them out on the table spaced out like cookies on a cookie sheet, and rotate them like a hen does her eggs twice a day.

Next I peeled for, like, a year.

And you know, even with all of my fruiticious dilligence, 
there were some peaches here and there with bad spots.  
I did what all good peeler-ers do.
I whacked 'em out and got on with the jamming.

I made freezer jam, and learned how important directions are (I have a lovely batch of delicious and runny ice cream topping now).  I froze the rest of the fruit on sheets to use on some sad autumn day when I long for a taste of summer.  
Or maybe next week. 
 I might be sad next week, you never know.

As I poured the would-have-been jam into plastic glad-ware, I looked heavenward and said, 
"Sorry, Mom."
She would have done it right.

Earlier in the week as I dumped a hot loaf of bread out of the breadmaker bucket, I looked up and said,
"Sorry, Mom."

When I helped dad move a few weeks ago, and noticed mom's beautiful 1920's Art Deco waterfall dressing table had become badly damaged from a leaky storage unit,
I rubbed my heart.
"Sorry, Mom."

I have been talking to mom a lot lately.  Maybe it's the pictures, and seeing her face at ages before I ever knew her.  I think of her making 8 loaves of homemade bread a week, canning dozens of jars of jam from her own fruit trees, and realize that she always had dinner ready on time, the house was always tidy and the laundry always done.  At least, that's the picture my memory conjures.  

She was a funny, wonderful lady. 
But she viewed herself as flawed.

I remember her sitting at that very dressing table and taking inventory 
of her cosmetic challenges, and other perceived inadequacies. 
It would probably make her laugh or even make her sad to know that
when I hold myself up against the measuring stick she left
I find myself lacking in so many ways.

I wonder if any of the things she ached over in this life still bother her
or if,
like the peaches,
once she had left behind the bumps and bruises
of mortality,
her life seemed sweet to her after all.

I don't imagine that I am unique in counting up my less refined traits.  I set out most days to have that proverbial attitude of gratitude, only to feel worse at the end of the day for not only not having it, but for knowing better.  

I hereby change the addage:

When life gives you bruised peaches
don't feel bad if you make runny jam.
It's a good excuse to have ice cream. 

Love my snoozy boy.  He falls asleep everywhere.

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