Thursday, October 13, 2022


Well, it's harvest time, and for that I go a-walking. The mornings are brisk and I have my route.  I take the trail that runs along parks near my house, which leads to another, larger trail where a giant canal used to be. There are always interesting things to see. And, might I add, to eat.  Something I've learned about myself is that I'm a veritable fruit thief.  If there is fruit nearby, easily accessible, I will be compelled to go thieve me some.  And I learned there is a word for this, this fruit thievery:  Scrump.   I am a scrumper. 

The first fruit I scrump on my walk is white raspberries from a neighbor's front yard.  Their whole front yard is a jungle of fruitful shrubbery including a baby pear tree and white raspberries. The raspberries are insane.  I freaking love picking berries. They are tiny gemstones waiting to be discovered.  And eaten. I took some today, along with a pear, and then texted the neighbors my confession in the form of William Carlos Williams:

After the berries and down the trail a bit I come to the beloved grape vine hanging over someone's back fence. These are Concord grapes. You know, that really grape-y grape. That intense flavor you never taste other than from the thing itself.  I delight in these grapes. The skin comes off easily and I nibble the seedy pulp with glee.  I once threw a thank you note over their fence.  Fruit on the trail is fun. Stolen fruit on the trail is the best

After checking the little free libraries for old Babysitters Club books I make my way to the larger trail where people have strawberry patches growing in what I presume to be public land, and which I thieve occasionally. And further along, apple and pear orchards dot the path.  There's something about orchards I find so magical.  Fruit trees--treasure trees-- lined up all neat and orderly. I want to pick them all clean. If a fruit tree is without fence, dangling apples or pears close enough to the path, I will snag one.   

One day I discovered an apple tree, tall and hidden and forgotten along the path, buried under so many other growing things.  I happily foraged the foliage and procured apples for me and Julian. I have never been able to find that tree since.  It might have been a dream. But I'm always on the lookout.

Happy scrumping. 


Alanna said...

This word is delightful and I love that you do this. I don't think I've ever had white raspberries, now I'm curious.

I think Barbara Kingsolver wrote once about disorienting orchards are-- how they seem like a complete mess until you get the right angle and then they suddenly resolve into perfect lines. I LOVE that about orchards! I also like picking fruit, even if I don't particularly want to eat it...

Kendra wanted to name Ryder Strump. We're still laughing about that one. It's so close to scrump!

Jen said...

Strump!! That’s hilarious. Love that quote! I’ve always loved orchards. That is the best. ✨