Monday, June 28, 2010

cherry season in the heartland

Two Sundays ago, Sam got a call from Grandma telling him the cherries on her cherry tree needed picked. Within the next 48 hours. Grandma lives two hours away from us, so it was going to be tricky to get up to her farm on a weekday. Impossible, really. But, we could go up right then. It was already past noon, but see, when you're almost 35 and you're blessed to have your grandma still in your life to call you up and ask you to head her way - you go. If it's at all possible. You go.

It was a gorgeous afternoon and perfect for a drive. The last part of the trip to Grandma's pretty much looks like this...

...and this...

...and this. Quiet and calm and lovely. Arguably the best part of Ohio.

When we arrived, Grandma's one cherry tree seemed smaller to Sam than he had remembered. But, believe me, that tree was totally weighed down with ripe, delicious cherries. Even with more than a few hands working away and picking for at least a couple of hours, we still didn't get them all. We did get most of the ones we could reach, though. Enough for two pies for Grandma and about four deep dish pies for us.

These are tart cherries, by the way. Montmorency. They make the most amazing sour cherry pies. If you're a sour pie person like I am (I use granny smiths in my apple, for instance) and you've never had a sour cherry pie... I'm very, very sorry.

So, we got to picking almost as soon as we arrived and just picked the day away.

The girls worked really hard. They kept asking how many pies worth of cherries we had.

First we picked the two pies' worth that Grandma asked for. The children proudly took them to the house and delivered them to her when we were done.

Then, they started keeping track of our own pie count. I'm telling you, they were really excited about those cherries.

Even though they're sour and the pies really need sugar added, the cherries have a shocking tartness that makes it fun to eat them straight off the tree, too. Kind of like sour patch kids candy only about 400 times better. Grandma didn't spray the tree with insecticides at all, and we had just had several days of hard rain, so these little gems were squeaky clean. Yum.

Punkin and Little Dude started to get a little tired after a while. I couldn't really blame them; it wasn't as interesting for them once the cherries were all picked from the branches they could reach. Punkin is 5 and 1/2 and Little Dude is 3 - neither of them had ladder approval. So, they just hung around, played, and helped dump the little containers into the large bucket from time to time.

They still had fun.

They did both miss their rest times, though. Punkin doesn't need a rest as much as Little Dude does, but they were both showing signs of breaking down by dinner time.

We kissed and hugged Grandma a good dozen times each, packed up our cherries and children, and headed home.

It was a very good day.


Stephen and Larissa said...

What a great day! The hubby and I love cherries and a sour cherry pie sounds amazing! And what a blessing to still have your Grandmother. A special day indeed.

I also noticed that Punkin was wearing the headband! I'm so glad she's still enjoying it. The baby I originally made that set for wore hers on Sunday and it looked just as sweet on her as it did your girl. I love seeing people enjoy them :)

Jacci said...

Hey, Larissa! Glad to hear from you :)

Punkin wears that headband ALL of the time. In fact, she wears it so much that I didn't even realize she was wearing it in these photos until you mentioned it. It's holding up beautifully, too - thank you!

Hope you're doing well!!!