Tuesday, March 20, 2012


“So you take about forty nine cling free peaches, two and a half cups sugar, and about five cups water, unless you don’t like them quite that sweet.” She probably said more in detailing the recipe but my mind had already drifted back to a summer day and the sweet juicy goodness associated with it.

We sat on the wide porch together in the warm sunny afternoon. Bees buzzed lazily among the trumpet flowers and columbine in the front yard; the yellow and black bodies darting in colorful splashes in and out of the deep yellow and red of the flowers. In the grass the children were blowing bubbles with the large flowers, dipping them in the soapy water Judy had made.

The little girls giggled as the large light bubbles lifted above their heads. Who would ever have thought of blowing bubbles with flowers?

Looking out over the yard, I saw many small peach trees hung with the rosy golden fruit. My mouth watered thinking about the peach cobbler Mom would make from Erma’s peaches. I could hardly wait till we could go home. But that would be hours –days. We were here to visit.
In the driveway Dad, Uncle Jack and the boys were working on the car. Uncle Jack loved to work on cars and enjoyed having the boys around to share the fun. Uncle Jack was a happy man. I never saw him when he wasn’t smiling. He spent most of his life working for the poultry company. The smell alone would keep me from smiling. But then again when dinner was ready I could enjoy that crispy fried chicken as much as the rest of the family

In the living room behind us a long, low table was filled with Erma’s African Violets. I didn’t know they came in so many different colors, pinks, purples, rose, even a variegated one. The blossoms smiled shyly through the dark velvet leaves. Erma was proud of these violets. They are hard to grow—at least I’ve never been able to keep a plant alive and blooming much less a whole table full. Hanging overhead was a large Christmas cactus. Although it wasn’t blooming yet, I knew it would be filled with red flowers in time for the holidays. It always did. Mother had taken a cutting home with her once so we could have flowers during the cold winter months in the mountains.
I don’t have many memories of Uncle Jack and Aunt Erma. But I remember sitting on the porch, eating peaches and fried chicken. I remember the magic of the flower bubbles and the happy smiling family I belonged to. I took a cutting of my mother’s Christmas cactus, Erma’s cactus to continue the tradition. I hope it blooms!

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