The annual block party in the early evening: old friends, good neighbors, great times.
I apologized to the neighbor on one side that I hadn’t planted the peach trees where they would grow over her side after all, like she’d fervently hoped I would. Sun and soil issues. (Although, I could train the one at the end maybe eventually…)
Later I was chatting with the neighbor behind us on the other side. She had bought her house in the early 1950′s. I told her that there are now peach trees for June, July, and August growing on my side of the fence from her, and, (as I watched her face fall) a goodly distance away from it but that I would trim any limbs back should they ever grow too close to it. (Knowing she doesn’t want anything to damage that fence–10 years old, but from her perspective and to some degree to mine too, brand new.)
There was a distinct lack of enthusiasm in her face. An expression of, tell me you didn’t.
I tried again. I promised I would keep the trees trimmed short so I could reach the fruit and that they weren’t supposed to get very big in the first place.
Yellow or white?
One yellow, two white, I answered, not sure what she was hoping for there–but then it was clear that that wasn’t it. The whites, clearly, no. I didn’t protest except in my head that the Babcock and Tropic Snow white ones are supposed to have a more complex and intense flavor than just plain sweetness, that they are nothing like anything from any grocery store, they’re top taste testers, really, she would love them. Honest!
I remembered that not everybody’s childhood memory is of a ripe, sun-warmed, perfect fruit that you yourself climbed into the tree to get, its juices running down your arms and dripping down your front till your t-shirt is soaked in essence of peach perfume.
There’s a reason they don’t sell peaches like that in the grocery stores.
It didn’t occur to me till later that perhaps she’s a diabetic and sweet fruit is nothing but a terrible temptation. I don’t know. But I’m going to go out on a limb here and say I think they need to stay on our side.
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