It’s Oklahoma, it’s mid-July, and it’s 105 degrees outside…which can only mean one thing – Porter Peaches! I LOVE peaches, so I called up Nanette and we made plans to run to the Peach Barn in Porter – it’s become a bit of a “thing” for us.
The problem is that because I only go to Porter once a year, I can never remember how to get there. So we ended up in Muskogee. Any other friend might have freaked out a bit at my complete lack of direction, but not Nanette. With her it’s all an adventure and she’s always along for the ride.
We decided to make the most of our adventure and eat lunch in Muskogee once we saw the sign for the Harmony House café and bakery. As we drove up to the old, white house we could tell that it was exactly the kind of place we loved – local, quaint, interesting.
Inside we got to visit with a lovely gentlemen named Jack. Come to find out, he has eaten lunch here nearly everyday for the past 19 years – in fact, he was one of their very first customers. And Jack was one smart guy because our lunch was delicious. The cookies we had for dessert were the best part though.
After lunch we wound our way back to Porter and the Peach Barn where, sadly, we learned that the peach crop was heavily damaged by the sub-zero temperatures this past winter. So we picked out the ripest peaches we could find and made our way to the Livesay Orchard hoping that the selection might be a little better there. It wasn’t. But we did spot some yummy smelling cantaloupes and made our way to the register. As we stood there to pay, the cashier said to us, “Hey, weren’t you the gals I took the picture of under the ‘no swearing’ sign last year?” Nanette and I just looked at each other and laughed. It was funny that she remembered us, but it was even funnier because that particular day (it was actually two years ago) happens to be one of my very fondest memories with Nanette.
You see it was the first time I’d ever been to Porter, or the Peach Barn, or the Livesay Orchards. I was in hog heaven with all the ripe, juicy peaches everywhere. I kept going on and on about the gorgeous fresh peaches and how I couldn’t get over the rows and rows of peach trees heavily laden with huge, ripe, pendulous peaches. Finally the farmer standing there said, “Well, if you want you can go out there and pick ‘em yourself.”
I looked at Nanette and enthusiastically squealed (in a pitch so high only she and the nearby farm dogs could hear), “Really!!!!!??????”
Nanette looked at the farmer who was looking at me and shaking his head like I was some kind of out-of-mind city slicker (which I was). And then she grabbed us each a bucket and we walked up and down the rows of peach trees picking peaches. She’d laugh at me each time I‘d pick one perfectly ripe peach after another, hold it up to my nose and inhale deeply, then admire it and exclaim, “No, this one is the one I am saving to eat on the way home!”
By the time we were done, we were both intoxicated from inhaling that sweet peach fragrance. Once we got back to the register to pay for our bounty of beautiful Porter peaches, I had the cashier snap this photo with my iPhone:
Back at my car, we stood there eating our freshly picked peaches, laughing about our adventure, peach juice dripping off our faces. It’s one of my most cherished memories.
And it’s not just because we had a fun time picking peaches (which we did). But because Nanette is the kind of friend who will grab a bucket and pick peaches on a swelteringly hot July afternoon just because it made me so ridiculously happy. She’s also the kind of friend who came to help me clean my kitchen before our home tour a few years ago (with a Q-tip and toothpick no less). She’s the kind of friend that I can call and say, “I don’t need you to fix this, I just need to vent” and then rant for 5 minutes about whatever stupid little thing happened to have pissed me off.
Nanette is just a wonderful friend – one of my very best friends. She’s also one of the smartest, funniest, creative, and talented women I know.
And I love her a bushel and a peck.