niagara orchards

As our family van winded its way along Niagara Shoreline Rd. the scenes fresh to my kids eyes, often triggered memories and feelings of my growing up years. Seeing the ships travel through the Welland Canal reminded me of dentist appointments, visiting dad’s school & heading to  Koop reunions. Passing by Lakshore Rd, filled me with thoughts of Uncle Rudy and Aunt Irene’s  backyard (a place I loved to go) or McNab School and stories my mom told of her own childhood.  Carrying on,  the big Avondale was in sight, with the cow pastures that surrounded it, and remembering almost tasting the yummy ice cream and hoping dad would decide tonight was the night for a family treat. And if we did, dad would always always choose a vanilla cone as he claimed that was the only pure form of ice cream.  And then the fruit orchards…..for many years the place of my summer job. Those hot humid days, climbing wooden ladders and REACHING to fill your basket quickly in hopes that with each basket filled your pay cheque would be better then the day before. Of laughing hard with work mates, coming up with crazy and silly stories, singing at the top of your lungs while trying to pass the time quickly in the hot summer sun. The itch of the peach fuzz & the wishing for stronger storm clouds that might call the crew in to end the day.

Slowing down by a familiar farm yard, I called out to Lily, “hello!” We stopped at her fruit stand to purchase some peaches, & she welcomed my kids to go into the orchards and pick some peaches for a tasty afternoon treat. They were quite excited to do what their mom did many years ago, & quietly I wondered how they might manage a full days work of fruit picking & sorting.

This post goes out to those farmers like Mr. Andres who picked us up those early mornings to work on his farm & provided us with a summer job even when I am sure some days we were more busy talking then filling up our baskets, to Aunt Kay who faithfully brought out the best break food on the Koop farm (i think her peach trifle was the best!), to my summer job friends & cousins/sisters  who have become part of the stories I am grateful to tell my kids.