"How much longer, Mommy?"
"Shh ... just a bit longer."
I slip my sandals off and enjoy the cool grass between my toes. Here under the red and white striped awning the temperature is ten degrees cooler, an oasis in the midst of the hazy August heat. We shuffle forward and now we see the rickety folding tables they hauled up from the nearby church basement. Through the crowd we catch a glimpse of the cardboard boxes. Several sit empty in the grass.
"Mommy? Will they run out?"
I shake my head, smiling.
Absently I tap my toes to the sound of the fiddle that filters through the noisy throng. Somewhere behind us is the make-shift bandstand and the bluegrass music has drawn a crowd. There's a smattering of applause to my left where I remember seeing a sign for a pie-eating contest. Someone must be finished ... and sticky.
My little girl plucks at my hand and we step forward a few more paces. We're almost there. She grins up at me and bounces on her feet in anticipation.
I tilt my head back and inhale deeply. I catch a whiff of the sugary sweet scent of a funnel cake. The aroma of fried dough makes my mouth water, but I'm content to wait for my own treat.
Ahead of us the man dressed in ancient overalls nods politely and steps away from the table. It's our turn. The old orchard wife dabs at her forehead with the yellow-flowered apron she's tied around her waist and looks up at us. Her leathery face creases around her eyes as she smiles at us. In her hands she holds out two gems, one for each of us.
"Thank you," we chorus.
Fresh picked yesterday, the delicate downy skin is a blushing orange hue. One bite and juice spills down our chins. We laugh and slurp. Peaches, the jewel of our Grand Valley.
Linking up with The Red Dress Club (twice - here's the other post). This week's prompt: 350 words to write a piece in which a local or regional item or industry plays a role. Palisade, Colorado's annual Peach Festival is a local tradition, but their peaches are world famous!
|Homemade peach preserves ... the taste of summer all year long.|