Peach-Pickin’ Season

Reader Contribution by Arkansas Girl

It’s sometime during the summer – early or late, I really don’t know. All I know is that it’s time to get up, eat breakfast, dress appropriately and go wait on the bus that will take us to the peach orchard. Honestly speaking, in my mind, I always cursed whoever planted those orchards. Perhaps that wasn’t right, but I hated to pick peaches. Of course, I like eating them, but seems like they tasted better when I could just reach in Grandma’s basket and take one rather than laboriously pluck it off a tree. In other words, if someone else picked them and brought them to me, they tasted just fine. When I ate one while working in the orchard, they didn’t taste as good.

Well, anyway, I only remember that we picked peaches only one week and that was it. Can’t tell you why we didn’t go again, but I was happy that we didn’t. At this juncture, we were living in the “Proving Ground” and to my utter consternation, I remember my Mother saying that the bus would pick us up on the main highway at a certain time the following morning. Anyway, we were there on time and for an entire week, we wore the title and hat of “peach pickers.”

Now, back to getting dressed. Even though peaches are harvested during summer, we still had to dress in long sleeve shirts and long pants. In other words, the entire body (except the face) had to be covered. And of course, if you itched on your face, you were wise not to scratch it without covering your hand with a cloth.

A towel around the neck was a must. Why? Because for some strange reason, peach fuzz always settled on the upper part of the body – not necessarily the face even though it was exposed. Nevertheless, it was the neck that had to be protected. If you got peach fuzz on you, you couldn’t pick any more peaches for scratching the burning skin that was full of fuzz.

The only thing I like about peaches is eating ’em. Picking ’em is for the birds.

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