Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Peaches, Tomatoes and Summertime

These three things take me back to a very special place, with my Meemaw & Peepaw in West Tennessee. They always met Mama & Daddy in North Little Rock at the Holiday Inn to pick Julie and me up for a couple of weeks.
Us with Meema, outside of the Holiday Inn in NLR
They were our paternal grandparents. As Julie got older, I started going by myself because she wanted to stay at home with her friends or go to camp, etc. It was always such a fun time and summer always makes me think of all the memories made every summer of my life for 23 years. Did you get that....I went for 23 summers, until the Lord took both of them home .

Us outside of Peepaw's church.
My Meemaw loved peaches. We would stop in Clarksville and buy peaches at the stand right off the highway (which is no longer there). She always put them in a brown paper bag to ripen them up and then sat them on the kitchen counter. She would peel and slice them with a knife while resting the peach in her soft, feminine hand. We ate them plain, in Special K, on vanilla ice cream, peach yogurt, in pie and cobbler form. The woman adored a peach and because of that, I do too. I bought some yesterday from the produce man and when I washed the first one and took the first bite I caught myself smiling and almost shedding a tear (remember, I am pregnant and hormonal). I love how a peach can take me back to such a special place in my heart. My Meemaw and I shared a special and rare bond. My "Meep" died when I was 23, on a cold winter's day. It has been the saddest day of my life and I still find myself missing her, especially in the summer and when I eat a peach... see a cute pair of hot pink shoes, look at Sunday circulars, or sleep on a satin pillowcase that was once hers. Man, I miss that lady!

The "proverbial" porch photo Peepaw took on all of our visits.
My Peepaw was a Southern Baptist preacher for over fifty years. He pastored a church in West Tennessee from the time I was 1 until I was 10. They lived next door to the church and I can still smell the way that beautiful church smelled on a hot summer day. It is a comforting thing, in an odd way. The man loved a fresh grown tomato and we ate lots of them each summer. Often during the day, he and I would ride to town to do banking, or go off on country roads to visit ailing church members or deacon friends. A lot of these nice people gave him the tomatoes he adored. He also had a good friend that worked for Hostess. I think that is why I was a chubby kid….lots of snowballs and honey buns were bestowed upon me because I was the preacher’s baby girl. I would get sacks full of them each visit. This man spoiled his granddaughters rotten. He would give the carousel operator $5 and say, "let her ride until it runs out" (It was 25 cents a ride!), take me to the mall just so I could ride the glass elevator, and he always took me to Shoney's because I thought the waiter was really cute. My “Peep” died the week of my thirteenth birthday and a part of my childhood died with him.

Don't hate the hair or the broach on my scarf!
I Love the memory of this picture.
I could write a novel on my summers spent in West Tennessee and the memories I made with these two most special souls. I am sitting where I am today because of those summers in West Tennessee (St. Jude internship, Randall, etc). I will spare you the time of reading the novel and just leave you with these few little memories of what a little heat and fresh produce can do to a girl. Crazy, but true.
The funny thing about all this is that just about every summer I went home with a rash on my tongue from all the acid from the peaches and the tomatoes. Today my tongue started tingling a bit from the peaches and my very own homegrown tomatoes, and I found myself laughing…..after all these years I am still the same girl!

I can't wait to get to heaven and enjoy a little produce with "My People"



Jennifer said...

Those memories are so precious. Aren't grandparents the best?!

Anonymous said...

Abby, you should enter this piece of writing to your paper! Thank you for loving your dad's and my parents so much! What memories. I love the hairdo in the last picture!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Ab. You made my day and yes, I forgot my kleenex.


Anonymous said...


I love the way you are standing in the picture labeled "Us with Meema, outside of the Holiday Inn in NLR". You do know that you still stand like that. I love the stories and you.


Lindsey Watson said...

what a sweet post!!!