I made a note to myself when I was standing in the middle of a white peach tree to remember the feeling. I wanted to remember the heavy scent, the branches full of leaves and the ripe fruit in my face, beside me and behind me. I wanted to remember laughing.
It was raining and we had ripe peaches. That was why I started broiling peaches and mixing up a brown sugar pecan crumble at 9 on a Sunday morning. The other reason was that we'd run out of cereal, had no bread and were low on eggs.
For the James family, canning peaches was one way to keep that taste of summer all year round. Add a little brandy to the syrup before canning them, and you have an extra-special treat; spooned over ice cream, they were James' favorite dessert.