Stopping for Cherries

Many years ago, we noticed a couple of cherry trees along the side of a road that we often travel.  One year, it must have been about four years ago or so, we decided to stop and pick some because it appeared that the cherries were largely ignored by all but the birds each year.  We made cherry jam with our foraged harvest.  And then, we never went back.  Year after year as he watches the cherries ripen as we pass, Keats begs, “Can we stop and pick cherries?”  And I always have an excuse to say “No, we can’t stop.”  In all these years, I’ve never once had time to stop and pick cherries again?  Maybe the truth is that when I am in route from A to B, I don’t want to stop.  I don’t want to change my plans.  This holds true if I am working on something at home, and a child asks me to stop and read a book.  I don’t want to stop.  I hate interruption when I am on task.  But I’ve learned to stop what I am doing and read when I am asked to.

Yesterday, as we drove by the cherries on our way to his violin lesson, just Keats and I, he noted, “The cherries are ripe.”  I don’t even think he bothered to ask if we could stop.  After all, I’ve been finding a reason not to for years.  I silently vowed to myself that we would stop on our way home.  I’d surprise him.  And I did.  He filled a penny box and a few cups found in the back of the car full, and we drove home with our loot talking about cherry cobbler.  When we got home I pulled out my favorite dessert cookbook, and we realized we would need to go to the store for ingredients if we were to make the cobbler.  Keats looked at me, full of excitement, and said “Let’s go back for more cherries too!”

So we did, the two of us.  And it poured rain as Keats picked cherries from his perch from the branches.  “Keats, there’s your rainbow!”  I shouted as I noticed the colors arching through the sky.  Keats filled two big cups with cherries before we loaded up and drove to the grocery store for buttermilk and gluten free flour mix.  Once we arrived home there was talk of a big storm looming and we all worried we would lose power.  Everyone teamed up to pit those cherries by hand so we could get the cobbler in the oven quickly.  The storm came with it’s thunder and lightening, but we never lost power.  We had our cherry cobbler for dessert just as we hoped.  I’m so glad that I stopped for cherries, but more importantly, that I stopped for Keats.


  1. Samantha says:

    your photography is amazing! I love the one of the cherries on the road the best. what kind of camera do you use?

  2. What a lovely reminder to “stop and pick the cherries”! Thank you for this lovely post. It actually made me tear up to think how many times I forget this one thing that means so much to our little (and not-so-little) ones.

  3. We have moved to an apartment in northern virginia – closer to my husband’s job. the children are all visiting my parents on their farm in central virginia. I am moving us in, unpacking etc. I have time to think about how life will be when we are all together. Thank you for stopping to pick the cherries – my daughter has been begging me to make horchata. I made it for her per her request two years ago for her birthday from a Martha Stewart recipe. I am will make it for her when they return!! Cheers for cherries!!!! You are a wonderful mother!!

  4. Thank you, Ginny! I too have to remind myself to stop and say “yes” to things even when I am dying to stay on task and just finish my to do list….they grow up so fast. When I remember that part it makes it a no brainer. The messy closet, the laundry etc will all be there tomorrow. My little one will only be little for so long! Glad to know I am not the only mom out there with this struggle.

  5. Wow – third from the bottom is a stunning photograph. I’m glad you took the time too 🙂

  6. I’m glad you stopped too and always love your pictures.

  7. You are a good mama, Ginny. I learn something from you every time I stop by your blog. Thank you!

  8. We made cherry pies a few years ago and I believe it may have been from the same trees when we lived across from there!! Nobody ever picks them!:)

  9. Thanks for the sweet reminder…got all teary-eyed reading it. I really like visiting your blog–love the stories about your family and living simply and reading and knitting! Blessings to you and your family.

  10. We have a mulberry tree on the edge of our yard that is full of ripe mulberries right now. The kids stand on the propane tank to reach more berries. They come in all purple. I love it. Free food rocks!!

  11. Sharon L says:

    Ah, sweet cherries! Wonderful memories of my grandmother allowing me to pick the cherries from her 2 trees for her jam. Create those memories!!

  12. i think that’s what ‘stop and smell the roses’ really means……you made a great memory!

  13. Love this post…I try as often as I can to have one-on-one time for each of the children, a time when that child doesn’t have to compete for my attention. It’s always wonderful, even if it’s only 15 or 20 minutes. The cherries look beautiful!

  14. Christina says:

    This was an important reminder for me Ginny. Thanks for your openness, as always. This is a blog post that will produce many little fruits all over the world today, I bet. Blessings on your family!

  15. precious x

  16. Oh, yes–just today I forced myself to stop something “more important” and read to my 4-year old. All too often I brush him off and I hate to think that I might make him stop asking far sooner than he might if I consistently said “yes” and genuinely enjoyed the moment. Lovely thoughts–thank you!

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