September 22, 2007


It is rather interesting how certain activities, smells or events can trigger memories. I have had one such experience this week. You see this week I picked the olives off my tree and proceeded to cure them. By the way, I am still completing the process, (the whole activity takes about 5 days or so); Memories of my childhood and early adulthood came flooding back.

You see I was raised on a ranch and on that ranch we had groves of olive and orange trees. Well each year we would get bucket full of olives and proceed to cure them. I remember as a child watching my father go through the process and I would anxiously wait for the time when we would be able to taste the finished product. I really didn’t get to do much because you have to work with lye and my father said I could watch but not touch… so I did.

But later in life when I was a young adult (my early married years) we returned to the area where I grew up, back to the farm. My brother had long since been following the process of curing olives and when that time of the year came along, I asked if he would assist me in curing my own olives. So now as I go through the process I can see and hear the instructions and directions of my brother. And at the time, (and even more so now) I could see and hear the concern in his voice; what to do and not do for my safety. He would stop by nightly during the process and would give his opinion on how I was doing.

Well you may or may not know, my brother passed away this year, so this olive curing period is quite different, I am doing the process alone. I guess I am carrying on the family tradition. But as I began the process and smelled the smell, memories came flooding back. Every time I go and stir the mixture I think of him… not only think of him but actually hear him telling me how I was doing. Strange, but I can hear his voice and laugh. Almost nine months and I still miss him so very much; I still cannot believe that he is really gone forever.

It just acts as another reminder to appreciate the ones that are in our life each day. Live in the moment and appreciate and celebrate our life with every breath we take.