Pears were special. Ours were hard pears that ripened in late summer or early fall when the other fruit had been long gone. We ate the crunchy fruit straight from the tree. Mama made pear preserves that we spread on hot biscuits. But it was Daddy who prepared the most succulent treat. He would wrap the fresh pears in newspaper and carefully arrange them in a large cardboard box which he then pushed under a bed. There the pears stayed for weeks. I don't know how he gauged that the pears were ready, or when exactly that occurred. In my imagination we pulled the box out from under the bed sometime near Christmas.
As you unwrapped a pear, the smell hit you first - it smelled like heaven, so sweet and fragrant. Then came that first bite. The flesh was soft, but not mushy, and so juicy, so delicious. Holding those golden orbs in our hands it was as if Daddy had performed a miracle.
As I look back on those times, I marvel at how skilled and resourceful folks were then. I'm grateful for the abundant life my parents gave us despite the challenges they faced. And I'm saddened by all the lost arts of everyday living. My grandchildren pluck a pear from the bowl in the kitchen without giving it a second thought. The bowl will be replenished with the next trip to town. They may enjoy their everyday treat, but they will never truly know a pear.