Monday, December 05, 2011

A crewman came in with a broken arm to be set, but the remaining injuries were minor ones, and the men's spirits were high. She learned the reason when Captain Fletcher came in, freshly washed and wearing a clean shirt. He looked good enough to lick, blast him.
"Doctor! You will not believe what that ship was hauling."
"Jewels? Gold?"
"Almost as good as! Ripe gold! Here, catch."
He tossed a sphere to her and she grabbed it one handed out of the air. It was a fruit, its nubby skin mottled but whole, the fragrance rising up to her nostrils even over the scent of blood and medicine.
"Casks and casks of oranges! This cargo will fetch a fortune in New York, Doctor."
--Sea Change

My little orange tree produced eight beautiful pieces of fruit this year.  I'm so proud of it!  It will yield more fruit as it gets larger, but there's nothing quite like eating a fresh orange off the tree, sunwarmed and sweet.  It's especially nice this time of year because it's a reminder of when oranges were the crop Florida sent up by boat and train to the frozen north, and an orange in a Christmas stocking was a special treat for a boy or girl.

I hope your holidays are filled with fragrance and lusciousness, and maybe a Florida orange or two.

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