We are consuming plum jam, plum yoghurt, warm plum drink and plum crumble. Also plums...as they are. We also give away containers of fresh plums to other families.
And we're not sick of them yet.
Not even close.
I receive an inordinate degree of pleasure from collecting the plums each day. It is a sorting process, after all. My girls are both excellent assistants, and the time ouside together, giggling as they fall around us, Ivy saying, "Plum! Plum!" and "Tank YOU!" each time I roll one her way for the compost container (she is in charge of gathering the squished or pecked plums) gives me warm heart-rushes. Esky is chief of chasers' collection (we live on a hill, so when one drops, it often rolls), and I scoot around in what are fondly known as my "plum pants" salvaging freshly fallen plums from the grass (casting those that don't pass strict quality control guidelines to Ivy). Both girls take turns in emptying the "squished" container of plums into a sickly-sweet-smelling pile over by the compost. The girls love being lifted up to reach purple orbs you can tell are on the verge of becoming chasers. They also love when I bend a branch down so they can stretch up on tiptoes and pluck them from their standing point.
Other favourite plum moments of 2013:
- We were going to pick up Haki from work, and we had already picked over the plum bounty earlier in the day. Since then, many more plums had fallen, but it was time to leave. The girls were strapped into their carseats, and I put Thimba into reverse. Esky let out a small wail. "What is it!?" I turned around to face her, alarmed (she sounded like she was in pain). "I'm just worried about the plums!" We were about to reverse out onto the drive-way and crush some in our departure. I had silently grieved the loss as we skirted around the latest supply en route. Apparently Esky couldn't remain silent on the matter. /squishhugcherub!
- If it is windy in the afternoon, we make a second collection...or I send a message to Haki to ask him to park further back to spare my precious fruit. I mean "our."
- When we walk up the steps in the morning I begin to speculate aloud how many plums will have fallen in the night. When we reach our tiny section's summit, Ivy always spins on the spot and points with both hands saying, "WOOOOW!"
- Some days, plum collection takes more than an hour, and so Esky begins to play other games at the same time -- most often singing songs she is spontaneously composing as she walks around gathering leaves for her turtle. The turtle is a wooden ornament. Clearly by the by. When Ivy tires of bending and side-stepping she comes and backs up into my lap (with almost 6 months of belly protruding directly above said lap), and simply sits as I scoot.
- When one of our dear (nana-) friends came to visit, she commented on our plum tree, impressed by its production. I said, "I know! Isn't it wonderful! We love going up there each day!" and then she said, "I was talking about the one down at the bottom of your drive-way! Those yellow plums make delicious jam." /jaw drop Maybe next year. /sigh Because for now, our hands are full. And our bowls, icecream containers, pots, wells in our shirts, and car cup-holders.
- When it rained two days straight, we went out in our wet weather gear to collect anyway...and discovered much of the fruit was covered in itty bitty bugs. I raked the entire area clear when the rain stopped, just to be sure to clear the plane for the following day. Oh, the loss. Haki is regularly saying, "There is enough that we can afford some waste," as he hurls a plum at a long-distance target for kicks. I bite my tongue. The man has praised my jam. And for a woman who doesn't sew or click needles together to create, my latest foray into jam-making has expanded my domestic horizons and heart in ways I cannot even begin to tell you. I can forgive the odd plum hurl. My heart is big. But you will park behind the fallen plums.