I have cursed this tree for years, but my lovely wife collects the survivors, or she climbs a ladder to pluck directly from the branches. She eats some, and she gives the remainder to friends and family.
These are puny little peaches compared to those I recall from my childhood in Georgia, which is called the Peach State with reason.
I know a peach when I see one. These are pretenders.
My maternal grandmother, named Osie, and her maid, named Willie, who was married (more or less) to the yardman, named Cap, often cooked peach cobbler.
Just the other day something marvelous happened. As I was picking up rotten peaches from the grass — if you don’t, they go putrid — a distinct aroma of peach reached up and smacked me. It had never happened here before.
And there I was, back in Georgia, a billion years and a million miles away. The kitchen window was open, and there was the huge table abutting it.
The pack of us — mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, sister and myself — were eating peach cobbler.
It was the big noon meal, and it included lemonade from real lemons. The snap beans would have come from across the dirt road. The corn from our fields.
The beef or pork would have come from the freezer, a beast grandfather had butchered.
From 1945 to 1951, we all lived in that house in the country, a house built by my great-grandfather in the 1890s and which remained in the family till the 1980s.
There must have been some negatives to those times, but I was too young to notice. I can still taste the snap beans, the corn, the lemonade and the cobbler.
We made our own ice cream too.