Today on the way to feed the horses I walked past our assorted fruit trees and noticed they were starting to show signs of spring. It made me think of the soon-to-be-available nectarines. Why nectarines? The nectarine happen to be my very favorite fruit. In fact, you know that thing about Adam an Eve and the apple? I think it was really a nectarine.

Because tossing hay at horses doesn’t require anyone’s full attention my mind drifted back to an experience I had about 35 years ago involving a nectarine tree I had planted in order to be able to just walk outside and pick a fresh nectarine whenever the urge hit me.

The time this particular event took place I was on yet another one of my “Lose weight” campaigns. This one involved a clinic and the facility had a doctor’s name in it so, of course, it was a good way to lose weight. Their method was simple. I was given a list of foods and their caloric values. I was given a daily ceiling and, here comes the kicker, I was required to write down EVERYTHING I ate each day and appear every day at the clinic to be weighed and evaluated by some lady wearing a white uniform. I doubt she was a real nurse but she could read. I knew that because one time I suspected she didn’t even read what I had written so I injected a few fictitious martinis in the list of what I had eaten. She spotted them.

The system was working and I was losing weight at a nice pace.

Just about then the nectarine tree I had planted began to bear fruit. It was the first fruit. It hadn't shown any fruit at all in the 5 years it had been there yet that year it was abundant. Of course, I couldn’t eat any. I suppose I could have but I forgot to mention this weight-losing clinic was a very expensive deal and I wasn’t about to shoot that down.

So the fruit came and most of it fell to the ground.

I was told the nectarines were delicious. “Much more flavorful than those in the store.” I didn’t even taste one. My relationship with the fruit was picking it up from the ground because hordes of flies were attracted to the fallen fruit. That was not a pleasant chore. Since then nectarines have never had the same appeal though I still like them a lot.

I suppose this would validate that old saying, “Never count your nectarines before ...” I forget the rest.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
February 26, 2008