In the beginning…my history, part 1

I wasn’t born on a farm. I wasn’t raised in the country. Truth be told: I was raised in the ‘burbs. Yup. A bona fide tract house in a middle class neighborhood. As kids, we used to go visit Grandma and Grandpa on the farm in Fresno, but by the time we were grown enough to understand, their participation in it was limited to the full-grown orchard, sky-high pecan trees and a very large garden.   It was in that garden that I learned what fresh asparagus tasted like, warm from the ground, dusted off on Grandpa’s coveralls. One of my favorite years was when the renters planted peanuts and my grandparents had received their portion of the harvest. We sat at their little kitchen table: Grandpa, my older brother and I, shelling peanuts. And Grandpa would pass us a peanut to eat saying, “One for you, one for you and two for me…”  and after a couple of rounds of this, we figured out that he was getting extra peanuts! So much laughter, so much fun, so many good memories in that farmhouse kitchen. But more on that in later posts…

One thing my dad always used to say when we were growing up was: if a branch doesn’t bear fruit then cut it off. I think it was a twist on a Bible verse. But what it meant for us was that he made the most of our suburban yard and garden. We had an orchard of semi dwarf trees: peach, nectarine, two kinds of apple, apricot, pear and even pomegranate. We had berry vines and an orange tree. And of course an annual garden. And a rose garden (fruit for the soul).  This was just the back yard.  The front yard boasted persimmon (the big fat kind from which puddings and cookies can be made), fig, Meyer lemon (saved by my dad when a severe storm almost severed its tap-root) and a lovely olive tree from which we cured our own olives. And of course more soul food: tree roses and huge azaleas made for a splash of color unrivaled by any neighbor.  A wayward loquat seed planted by a mischievous girl (wonder who!) grew unhindered on the side yard and bore fruit as if it had been planted on purpose.

So while I may not have been raised in the country, the country was in my blood. It lingered there, waiting until the day that it was time to germinate and grow. That time is now.

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3 Responses to In the beginning…my history, part 1

  1. Jonathan Gazarian says:

    Like sister, like brother.

  2. allyn says:

    love the story. there’s so much to you that i want to know. there are some things we learn and others that we are born to do. get the combo together and it’s all sorts of amazing. just like you. can’t wait to read more.

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