I got my last basket of peaches at a local orchard this week. They have picked all the fruit and placed them in cold storage to sell at local markets.

Once brought to room temperature, they were perfect.peaches

These are the yellow freestone variety, so named because the fruit separates easily from the center stone.

I have set about to preserving them, a simple process of freezing the peeled, sliced fruit in layers on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.

Placed in plastic bags, the frozen slices will last up to a year.

Growing up, I only knew of the cling peaches, in heavy syrup, that were sold in cans or preserved in a more complicated process at home.

I come from a family of freestones, we all separated easily and early. It was encouraged by our parents, for a variety of practical reasons, and even more emotional ones.

In our extended family, cousins, in-laws, etc., there is really only one who didn’t get away. He was always immersed in the challenges of aging parents, never really having asserted his independence, or giving up the parent/child relationship that remains today.

That’s not a judgment. It seems to have worked for him.

We will be working together to sort through 6 decades of treasures and trash as we prep for the sale of the family home, treading lightly through very personal memories.

My mother in law has been living in an independent senior apartment for almost 2 years now, and is ready to give up her home. She will never be emotionally ready to do so, how does one not cling to the home that was meant for a lifetime ?

It is logical, it makes practical sense, but so bittersweet.

One can only imagine. In our many moves over the years, I have not had that kind of attachment to a home, or even a location.

I can’t really end this piece without a connection to a very famous scene from a 1971 episode of All in the Family. Edith describes a freak accident with a can of cling peaches, in heavy syrup.



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48 Responses to Freestone

  1. Good luck with that house, Van! I mean it! Boggles my mind how much “stuff” I’ve collected and the thought of going through it all makes my stomach turn. I can understand how MIL is not able to do it. As for Edith, she is a stitch!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ โค

  2. love that clip! โค
    Diana xo

  3. davidprosser says:

    Even in the UK I remember Archie Bunker and the family. A great clip.
    Best of luck in sorting through a lifetime of memories. I hope MIL will have room for some of the special ones.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

  4. The V Pub says:

    I didn’t get any peaches on my tree this year, nor any cherries. That was sad! I don’t know how anyone walks away from a lifetime of memories. I know that we can’t take it with us, but to me, it’s almost like an admission that the end is near.

    • When they designed the house, it was done ranch style, so that it would not present challenges (stairs) as they aged. Her husband passed away, but his message of “being there for the rest of our lives” remains entrenched in her. It has been tough. Thanks, Rob. ๐Ÿ’•

  5. Val Boyko says:

    Thank you for the laugh Van. Keep that lightness of spirit (or should that be syrup!) over the next months as you clear the family home. I too have moved many times, and am thankful I am not overly attached to material things… memories are enough! Those who haven’t experienced moving on however, often have difficulty in letting go.
    Thinking of you … and those lovely peaches to bring sweetness to your day ๐Ÿ’›

    • Thanks so much, Val. My family was the type that threw everything away, so this is a challenge for me. But, no emotional attachment, so I might be the best chance to clear the clutter. ๐Ÿ’˜

  6. To funny, I have not thought of Edith in years. Don’t recall the episode but on that show you never know, Archie could make her completely lose track. I love freestone peaches, there are several places in the hill country of Texas where they grow and I haven’t had one in years. There is nothing like a good peach, freestone even better.
    My grandparents lived in the same house close to sixty years, what a task, it was hard for me to let go, everything had a memory. I had to force myself to remember, none will fit in my house, take the antique furniture and very personal items and let other items make memories with another family. I took a number of items from china cabinet to take photos. I’ll post so real treasures after editing.
    Have a great weekend. Please pray for my friend, she is losing grip.

    • You understand the challenge, so good to let those things make memories for another family. Well said. โ˜บAnd, I wish I could say something positive about your friend. Your attempts reflect your kind spirit. Hugs back to you, M. ๐Ÿ’˜

  7. Bun Karyudo says:

    I’m not sure whether I’ve ever eaten a freestone peach. Most of the peaches I can remember have seemed pretty reluctant to give up their stones. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Bradley says:

    Always loved that scene. Honestly, every time I see a can of peaches in the store, I think of it.

    Never heard of a freestone peach. Gonna have to try them out.

    • They are the most available variety sold here. Mostly yellow, but there are some white peaches as well. For me, yellow are the best flavor. Thanks, Bradley. Archie and Edith live on ! โ˜บ

  9. George says:

    Deconstructing a life, whether it’s yours or someone else, is so very difficult. Watching tour life being broken down is even worse. Treading lightly, as you suggest, is then only way to approach it. Good luck, Van.

  10. I remember this episode, wow brought back memories Van! The peaches sound so good

  11. Your recognition of how tenderly you must tread is going to make the process of emptying the house, perhaps not easier, but kinder. Good luck to you with that effort. โค

  12. Sawsan says:

    Enjoyed reading this Van. Love peaches and looove peach pie.

  13. Beautiful metaphor. I fairly ruthlessly went through my parents’ belongings in reading their house for sale. I tried to keep those items that meant the most, including photos, but no doubt got rid of much my parents loved. They miss their home, too.

  14. It is only in adulthood that I have learned nothing last forever.

  15. Oh how I love Edith!

    I so badly want to be a freestone. But I am a cling peach, planted and grown in obligation, responsibility and frustration. This post really spoke to me. How difficult this must be for your mother in law. I don’t feel tied to a place, but ironically, I feel a loss at not feeling tied to a place.

  16. So love this. And the close, so good.

  17. joey says:

    I love your freestone peach metaphor! Well done!
    I haven’t had this experience you speak of. My parents did, and I got that painting, so…. lol

    There is a house opposite mine and a bit down, where…well that’s a whole other story. I should write it. One day. Anyway, they have been doing the thing since snow was on the ground, with the dumpsters and the AmVets and the estate sale and the reno. Talked to the men who are working on it the other day, they’ve invited us to drop by and see it, so we really should.
    Best of luck with your (cousin’s) experience. ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. amommasview says:

    I remember the peaches in the cans all too well. I really liked them but it was nothing compared to the fresh peaches we got in summer… love the metaphor ๐Ÿ˜‰

  19. Wow. Takes me back. Gotta have peaches. ๐Ÿ‘

  20. Reblogged this on HarsH ReaLiTy and commented:
    Interesting! I didn’t know that is why peaches are called freestone! Learned something new and those look delicious!
    Note: Comments disabled here. Please visit their blog.

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