my grandmother has two pear trees in her yard. i think they've been there forever, or at least as long as she has which is practically the same thing. the trees are particular though-- they only bloom into fat pears when they feel like it. i suppose june was sweet to them this year because the two trees were saddled with fruit bigger than my fist and the branches drooped under their weight. when the trees are right and it's another 'pear summer,' my grandmother spends hours picking and peeling and paring and boiling the pears down into sweet, sticky pear preserves. she pours them into clear glass mason jars then boils the whole jar again to seal them tight. "now, these will last forever." she says every time, "that's why they're called 'preserves,'" but by the middle of september, the jars of pink pears are nearly gone-- pilfered to spread on hot biscuits or toast in the mornings or to stir into oatmeal. this year, i've saved a jar. i put it away until i feel 'forever' is too long. 

my grandmother's hands-- the most honest thing i know. 


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