Just a Sweet Memory: circa 2001

The basket is full to the brim with the most gorgeous peaches ever. I choose the fattest one and rub my fingers over its fuzzy hide. I feel its weight in my hands as I carry it over to the sink where she’s waiting.

She clasps the paring knife with an unsteady hand and goes to work slowly but surely. You never saw a peach so perfectly peeled. A smooth slice down the middle and I watch as a little river of sticky sweet juice runs down all the way to her elbows. Half for me. Half for her.

We eat standing at the sink in simple silence and just look at each other. Her face round and sweet, lined and creased like a molasses crinkle cookie. Her lips are painted a rosy pink and they curl into a smile as she watches me watching her. I smile back shyly.

“What are you smiling about? Hmm?” she chuckles, “Was your peach yummy?” I nod my head and stand on my tippy toes to get my hands rinsed. She takes my little hands in hers and runs them under the cool water. Her hands are old tree roots, gnarled and knotty; they’re slightly stiff and speckled with sun spots. I wonder about all the things they’ve done. All the hands they’ve shook, all the things they’ve picked up and admired, even all the peaches they’ve sliced. My hands look like plain white paper next to hers. I want hands like that someday, hands with good stories.

She dries her hands with an old green and white gingham towel and takes a step back.

“Let me see you doll,” she says. I stand up a little straighter. “Well gosh;” she says throwing the towel down, “you’re so darn cute I could just eat you all up!” She pulls me to her and covers me in kisses and tickles me until I’m laughing so hard I can hardly breathe.

“I love you grandma,” I say through giggles.

“I sure love you too doll,” she says smiling at me.

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