"But the fruit that can fall without shaking, indeed is too mellow for me." --Lady Mary Montagu

when you live in a fruit-rich agricultural valley, like i do, you note the passage of time by what fruit is in season. while i imagine you can do this anywhere, here it is done in abundance. right now, it is cherry season, and i've been craving raniers. rainers are the most beautiful of the cherries. creamy yellow blending towards rich, lush cherry red. lightly speckled with all the colors in between. creamy pale inside and the sweetest burst of flavor. i love them and each year i want to buy, and eat, them by the buckets. not growing up in this valley, i would buy them anywhere i saw them. and my husband, who did grow up here, would say "don't buy those!" various reasons, usually "too expensive" or "not fresh enough" (in chain grocery stores you are usually buying last years fruits that have been kept in cold storage.) this year was no exception, so when i tried to buy cherries, and he, again, said "don't buy those". "OK" i said, "take me to wherever i CAN buy them." a few minutes later, we pulled over on the side of the road where a young, teenager-ish girl sat next to two ice chests, side of the road, no sign, lawn chair and reading a book. when we were close enough to park, i saw a small hand-lettered sign cherries, $1. i bought two pounds of ice-cold rainiers and one of bings for a total of $3. more importantly, i learned that the girl's name was jess, and this was her way of earning spending money for the summer. her family had a fruit orchard and while they normally got 5-10 cents per pound from the grocery stores, her dad let her sell whatever she picked herself. now i got it. got it! for me, it was better fruit, cheaper fruit, yes, but even better, i met someone really cool and industrious and supported a local family. i made a connection.
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