Winter came early and outstayed its welcome in Iowa this year. Our cherry tree blossomed three weeks later than usual, and the cherries just ripened this past week.
I think the Brewmaster and I picked and pitted about 6 quarts of cherries in two days. It is never anything like the game of my youth, “Hi Ho, Cherry-O.” Instead, you squint into the sun as you get pricked by branches, balancing on a ladder and trying not to dump your bucket of cherries on the floor. It’s not really funny like in the game when you do.
Or maybe I’ve lost my sense of humor.
I’ve certainly have had many reasons to not feel like life is just a bowl of cherries. We lost our dog, Rose, in March to a battle with cancer. It was too sad to blog about losing the dog that got me through single motherhood and through many ups and downs. Soon I may be ready
Life has been less than peachy. When it gets me down, I don’t blog. I don’t want to whine, to complain. Being 50 has been a rough year. I have aches and pains all over, I can’t even run a mile, and the current political climate is extremely alarming and depressing at the same time. So I have been silent.
However, it is on the upswing. Take that cherry tree, for instance. For a LONG time I felt very bitter about it. My ex bought it the summer we were divorcing. My son had gotten very upset when I pulled up an apple tree sapling that was growing in the fence. It turned out that it was “base” for all his chase games in the back yard, and he had a major tantrum like only four year-olds can. I felt bad, but tried to reason with him. My ex went out a bought a new tree, a sour cherry tree, and planted it. That summer he wasn’t contributing any money, or helping around the house, so it irked me that he would buy a tree that we really didn’t need, in the interest of being the “good parent.”
Who doesn’t need a cherry tree? It has been fun to see it blossom beautiful white flowers every year, and see my son rejoice as we got more cherries than the birds as years passed. Last year we even had a chipmunk that would sit in the tree and eat the green cherries, and thumb his little paw at me when I tried to scare him out. Something ate all the ripe cherries overnight, and we were devastated. If it was that tiny chipmunk, he must have had a wicked belly ache. We had no cherry clafoutis, no cherry pie, no cherry crisp and we were very sad.
This year we made sure to pick them as soon as they ripened. I made two pies and we took one to friends, and I was embarrassed at the number of pits that people found in their slices. The cherries are small and we haven’t found a fool-proof pitter, yet. We saved extra bags of cherries and tonight I made a delicious paleo crisp, mostly just for me. And we will make a clafoutis before my son goes to France.
See, it took time for me to get over my sour attitude and be grateful. I’m grateful my son has a good relationship with his father, who was generous enough to care about him and nurture through nature.
And this year’s bounty shows that even though some years the cherry bowl is empty, a new season (and smarter gardeners) will bring happiness.
The tide will turn, and if I keep healing through food and being good to my body, the aches and pains and sadness will go away.