Last weekend, my husband and I took a trip to Upstate New York to visit my dear friend Carol’s family. Carol passed away suddenly in 2011, much too soon. I wasn’t ready for it. None of us were ready for it–but that’s the way life is–throwing us all unpredictable twists and turns which challenge us, mystify us and make us stronger in the end. These experiences help us realize what we have in life and the special people we meet along our way. Carol’s family are just those kind of wonderful people!
Now, you’re probably saying, “What in the world does this have to do with summer peaches and sweet memories.” Well, in the summertime, in the small towns and villages around Rochester, New York, near Lake Ontario, farmers grow the most amazing peaches in their vast orchards. They are very tasty and sweet! What a treat! Carol’s family graciously gave us a carton full of delicious peaches that we have been enjoying since we arrived back home in Maryland.
Peaches remind me of special times during the summers growing up in suburban Washington, DC. My parents would load my sister and I in the family car for our early August run to the Catoctin Mountain Orchard, north of Frederick, Maryland, where we would stock up on the sweetest summer peaches. We looked forward to the annual trek and the treat all year.
Many times in this hectic world of ours today, I look back so fondly to my childhood years where the thought of driving 45 miles for summer peaches was as special as going to the movies or the beach.
Whether it was eating one of those succulent peaches outside on our front steps, or going to the local ice cream store for a cone on Sunday evenings, those kinds of summer pleasures will always bring a smile to my heart and remind me of the simple pleasures in life that we treasure all of our days. Childhood memories buried deep within and sparked by experiences today are to be savored just as I savor the joy of eating a delectable New York State peach!
It is these precious, simple childhood memories that truly inspire me as a writer to create stories about multi-generational relationships, contrasting the contemporary and modern with vintage aspects and settings of the past. The simple pleasures in life–a gesture of kindness, a smile, a true friend, the treasures of the earth–are to be appreciated and savored to carry us through a lifetime of change.
Happy Summer Eating, Reading, and Writing!