Cherry Pickin’ at Its Best


It was a normal Saturday, the freezer aisle at the local grocery store.  I was checking everything off my list and then I spotted it, out  of the corner of my eye by the cool whip….cherry pie.  Well, it was in a pie in a cardboard box, but it looked delicious. Sara Lee promised the taste of bright, red, tart cherries in a mere forty-five minutes at 400 degrees.  I couldn’t pass it up, I was picking up the box and placing it in the cart before I knew it.  “Mmmmmm, the smell and taste of cherries took me back to my cherry pickin’ days!” I thought to myself.

It feels good to step back every once in a while and that is just what I did.  After swiftly putting away all the groceries, I tore open the box and gently placed the pie in the oven.  I started to tell the story to my son,  “Did you know Grandpa Herman would drive the red 1972 International tractor into the backyard with the front lift.”  There was a process in cherry picking.  Here is how it would go, first my Dad would drive the tractor as close to the nine foot cherry tree as he could, then Mom and I would climb into the lift, Dad would raise the lift very slowly and then Mom and I started picking like crazy.  I missed a step, Dad in his blue overalls would yell, “Grab on, we’re going up!”  “Yeeee,” I would yell with a grin as big as the silver pie plates that were banging against the tractor tires.

Mom and I would pick and pick and eat and eat.  Those cherries needed a gentle touch or you would have cherry juice everywhere.  We held those old recycled plastic ice cream containers to reap our delicious treasure. The real treasure was being together and helping Mom make one big cherry pie for us to share that night.  It didn’t come from a Sara Lee cardboard box, it came straight from the heart.  Thanks Mom and Dad for those cherry pickin’ memories, I carry them in my heart every day. 



8 responses »

  1. Love the memoir quality of this piece, but the voice that comes through with the dialogue and the repetition, as well. “Mom and I would pick and pick, and eat and eat”–love this line. So simple, but so full! I also laughed at loud at the promises that Sara Lee makes!

  2. Food and memories do go together well. This is a great strategy for student writers too. I love the way that you hooked us in the intro. I was intrigued. And then, you slowly brought on the memoir.
    Thank you!

  3. What a beautiful story to share with your son! “The real treasure was being together and helping Mom make one big cherry pie for us to share that night” I love this line…Sounds like you are paying it forward!

  4. Love this post! I have to admit, I want a cherry pie with a side of vanilla ice cream, right now. It think it is so great how memories can be triggered in all kinds of places. Your story brought back memories of picking blackberries with my cousin. Thanks for sharing and allowing me the chance to recall my own great memory.

  5. You were so clever the way you began in the present, but slipped to the past to tell the story. I’m guessing Sara Lee’s promise was no where near the flavor of your homegrown cherries. Now you’ve got me craving cherries.

  6. Great example of food connecting to a memory. Enjoyed the way you eased into the memory with “It feels good to step back every once in a while and that is just what I did. “

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