Woo-hoo, a day off! My dear brother has finally taken the bait, I mean, the hint and has graciously contributed to my blog. I'm off to clean the house before my family moves out into the yard, where it's cleaner.
Take it away, Tom....
The fact that this tree is still here and giving fruit, long after the people who planted it and got so much out of it during their lives have passed on, was about the only profound thought I've had in the last week. I had it, of course, while we were picking the last of the peaches.
A few days ago, we took the last of the fruit (at least three bushels!) from the peach tree that stands next to our garage, about midway between the road and the woods behind our house. That's right-- peaches in upstate New York! As it turns out, Georgia doesn't have a monopoly on them. My father-in-law Charlie and I planted the tree 15 years ago this spring--a laborious job, the ground being filled with rocks--along with another peach tree and a pear tree that didn't survive long (one just died, the other was eaten by the dog we had at the time). Charlie had a stroke two years later and died the next, and the tree hadn't borne much fruit up to that time. But the following season it started yielding a substantial crop. Every year after that (except those in which the tree, for whatever reason, decided to take a rest) we harvested in August, filling boxes and baskets. We canned most of the peaches, making jam or pies with the rest and saving some to eat "au naturel." We always had a jar or two to leave with Grandma when we visited, much to her delight. She went to Heaven three years after Charlie, and then the tree's bounty was inherited by Grandma's sister, Aunt Margaret. She looked for those peaches every time we paid a visit, and always had empty jars from the last visit ready to exchange for them! Aunt Margaret passed on five years ago in February, but the tree is still here sharing its bounty with us, our children, our neighbors, and our friends. People come here and stay awhile, filling our lives with joy, while God's Creation quietly, and beautifully, bears us along.
Thank's, Tom. You beautifully brought our beloved back through your eloquent words. I miss them.