I hate summer. I mean it. I dread the thought of the nasty season all year-round. Summer is the only season that manages to make me focus on its bad side rather than the good.
But, inevitably, year after year, despite the hot, humid, nasty, sticky weather, I more than just muddle through. I seek, and, with the help of a few friends, indeed I do find, the good side to summer.
To characterize the relationships as “friendship,” is misleading. They’re more like hot affairs that last a short, but intense period.
Having said a bittersweet fairwell to my Spring flings: tender asparagus, innocent baby lettuces, sweet sugar snaps, succulent chard and greens, and many more – I’m easily lulled into early summer with cherry seductions and berry trysts. Before I know it, I’ve fallen pray to the siren call of the tomatoes, zucchinis, okra, yellow squashes, watermelon, corn…. I guess summer isn’t so bad after all…
“Fuzzies” are one of my most beloved summer friends; that’s what I called peaches as a kid. We used to have a peach tree that produced like the Willie Wonka of all peach trees. It was magical It wasn’t just the quantity that was amazing – these were the juiciest and sweetest peaches you could imagine. I would climb up on its sappy branches and get the top fruits that the adults couldn’t reach from below.
We collected basketfuls. Family, friends and neighbors always got a bag of them. We had more than enough ourselves – for pies, cobblers, and well, for just roll-up-your-sleeves and eat.
Sadly, my dear fuzzy factory expired. It probably overworked itself in its glory years and just quit one year. Spring brought no buds, and summer produced no fruit. I had lost a friend.
Now, every year, I never fail to stop at every road-side stand, farmer’s market stall, and orchard I have time for to taste their peaches. I’ve had good ones. I’ve had great ones. But, I’ve yet to find the magical fuzzies of my childhood… *sigh*