It was a sight such as I have not seen in many years! About a dozen people were gathered in the activity room when we arrived. Well, I have seen that before! But this group was peeling peaches.
It was at the nursing home Kelly and I visit every week, and spirits were high as several residents along with volunteers tackled the job of peeling what appeared to be about four or five bushels of peaches.
“What are you going to do with all the peaches?” Well, they didn’t know, but peach pie was a distinct possibility, and possibly peach preserves. A nearby farmer had donated them, and they would not be wasted.
The scene took me back a good many years to the Fulton County Home, where I grew up. Every peach season, Dad would purchase many bushes of peaches and this same scene played out. Any resident who was physically able and wanted to help was welcome to come to the specified room and take part in the activity.
My job was to sort, scald, then cold-water bathe the peaches for easier peeling, and keep the peeling pans full. Fruit with bad spots or too soft to endure scalding went to Mom for peeling. I also took the clean, sliced fruit to the canning room where Dad and another employee did the tin canning.
Everyone stayed busy, and conversation flowed. Residents and employees were all one big, happy family. That pretty well described life at the home most of the time, too. Everyone knew and cared about everyone else.
So I found this week’s activity at the nursing home quite interesting. Their building is not set up as well to do that sort of thing, but they made do with the facilities they had. The activities director was making sure everyone had whatever they needed so they could work comfortably.
Some greeted Kelly verbally and apologized for their inability to pet her because their hands were messy and sticky with peach juice.
Next week, it will be right back to normal, I imagine, but for this one day many had opportunity to once again travel down memory lane as they peeled peaches like they did years ago in their own homes.
As these lovely people, now in their waning years, wind down their lives, it is good for them to be able to participate in an activity reminiscent of earlier times of their lives.
It is also good for each of us to look back – to examine our lives for the certainty that Jesus does, indeed, make His home in our hearts. It is one thing to know ABOUT Jesus but quite a different thing to KNOW Him personally as Savior and Lord.
Do you know ABOUT Him? Or do you KNOW Him? Though peach season has its own allure, Jesus is sweeter, and He is forever.