Sunday, January 29, 2012


Memories must leave trails in the mind, quietly forgotten until a flavor or smell sends us barreling into the cobwebs woven across their path. I found myself remembering my grandfather today in the juicy sampling of a tangelo. He has been gone for years, yet this particular fruit delivered vivid recollections of him. There he was with his papery skin and bone-dry humor, mixing bloody mary's in his Florida kitchen. I regret not knowing him more before he passed. He was a remarkable man. He was a gracious host to his overwhelming family of children and grandchildren stuffing his home to the gills during holiday gatherings. He always mixed the drinks, and he always had a endless supply of tangelos.
The Minneola tangelo, also known as the Honeybell, is a hybrid crossed from the Duncan grapefruit and Dancy tangerine, yielding exceptionally juicy fruit and electric orange skin. The bell shape distinguishes it easily from any other citrus. These fruits are unique due to their short season. Ripe only a few weeks out of the year, Honeybells are a rare treat.
Thanks to friends returning from a recent trip to the Sunshine State with a bag full, I was offered more than a succulent morsel; I bit into the unexpected gift of memory. A special flavor indeed.

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  1. That first sentence got me. Hard. Good writing there. Keep em coming.

  2. Hi Rachel! It's your childhood buddy, Anna, here. What a beautiful post! You always had a gift for writing, even in third grade in Ms. Williams's class when you wrote that murder mystery story and named characters after us :) I read a poem called by Joy Harjo today and thought of you and your blog. It's about food, family, and fellowship--entitled "Perhaps the World Ends Here":

    "The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live.
    The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it has been since creation, and it will go on.
    We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe at the corners. They scrape their knees under it.
    It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. We make men at it, we make women.
    At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts of lovers.
    Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms around our children. They laugh with us at our poor falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back together once again at the table.
    This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.
    Wars have begun and ended at this table. It is a place to hide in the shadow of terror. A place to celebrate the terrible victory.
    We have given birth on this table, and have prepared our parents for burial here.
    At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We pray of suffering and remorse. We give thanks.
    Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table, while we are laughing and crying, eating of the last sweet bite."

  3. Anna, what a treat to hear from you old friend! And a treat of a poem! I am going to need to print that and frame it for my kitchen. I think the author may have said all the things in that poem that it will take me my whole life to say. THANK YOU! Much love!