When we were both in the middle of branches last weekend, I asked David if he remembered whether, when we bought the house, we knew it was an apricot tree in the backyard, or whether we were surprised when we first saw it blossom.
It was winter when we moved in. We might not have been able to tell, on our own, what was back there.
David thinks we didn’t know when we bought it, but that neighbors told us after we moved in and before any fruit grew.
Now that I’m really thinking about it, I am thinking that’s exactly how it was. I remember that our next-door neighbor told us several times in one conversation how sweet the apricots were and how much she enjoyed it when the previous occupants of our home brought her a bagful. We said to each other afterward, “We are really going to have to remember to bring her some, aren’t we?”
We did. She scolded us for bringing far too many. She couldn’t possibly … But she did. And we were grateful.
Six or so months later, we had Alice. Her first summer, when the apricots were ripe again, we brought her outside to nap in the shade while we picked.
We taught ourselves how to make jam. And knowing that we know how to do that is reassuring in a way that is difficult to explain.
This year, Alice was a real helper. I showed her how to gather apricots into the skirt of her dress. David’s sister was visiting from out of town, and Sunday afternoon, the four of us filled bags and bags of apricots. Alice loves them so much. We catch ourselves treating them like dessert. “If you finish your sandwich, you can have another apricot.”