Well, as the story goes, my husband loves green apricots. With salt. In late spring he would climb the trees that grew on his family’s property and eat his fill. He looked forward to it every year as a boy, but he hasn’t eaten any green apricots in a very long time.
This year we happened to have the opportunity to be in southern Utah in late spring. We were visiting family and taking care of some business, and while we were in town we looked for some green apricots. And we found them.
I have actually never eaten an apricot. Except dried. And maybe canned. So this was going to be a new thing for me. I was surprised at how small they were. And by how much Jeff enjoyed eating the really, really green ones.
So I tried them. A green one. A not-so-green one. A ripe one. I was starting to feel like Goldilocks. Turns out that when it comes to apricots, I’m a Momma Bear kind of girl. The green ones were way too firm and tart for me, and the ripe ones seemed to be lacking in flavor a bit. The right kind were a pretty shade of orange, with just tinges of green. Right texture. Right flavor. Just right. Like a banana with just a bit of green still left on the skin.
But all of that is only part of the story. The trees that Jeff used to climb are no longer in the family, so his brother hooked us up with a sweet friend named Sarah who owns these trees. Sarah is a character. Sarah is 92. Sarah is a smart cookie.
As we were taking pictures, eating apricots, and other such shenanigans in the orchard, Sarah came out and asked why we were so very interested in her apricot trees. My sister-in-law explained a bit about The Green Apricot, and Sarah wanted to talk to me. So we chatted for a minute. Turns out Sarah’s a retired quilter, if you will. She asked if I had one of those big quilting machines. I told her I did not yet. Then she looked at me earnestly with those clear, blue eyes and said, “Well, you should get one.”
Then she said “I want to show you something. Come on in the house.”
I dutifully followed her inside, where I met her pup and descended into the coolness of a sitting room. We were surrounded by plants and paintings. She began to dig through piles of pictures, looking for just the right one. As she dug, she told of a flood relief effort she had been involved in in the 1990’s. A phone call here, a smile there, a good natured push in the right direction and this woman had gathered materials and man power to make enough quilts to cover the floor of the Dixie College sports arena. Six times over. And, as if that wasn’t enough, found a way to have them all delivered to the correct distribution spot with the Red Cross. She carefully controlled the slight curl in her nose as she expressed her gratitude for the yards and yards of cotton-poly blend fabric donated for the backing of the quilts. She told of logistics miracles, and then the pictures started to emerge. Photos of a woman 22 years younger, with a grin almost as large as the stack of quilts she was standing with. Who knew?
A few minutes later we said our good-byes, and she looked at me with those eyes and said “Get you one of those machines.”