Written by Heidi Jackson
It’s another summer morning and I’m awoken to the sound of the old rooster crowing right by my bedroom window - sometimes I thought my dad put food up on the tree by my window or trained him to go up there; whatever the case was, that old rooster never failed to wake me up in the summer. I give up on sleeping in longer. As always, the bird wins. I’m dressed and ready for the day, eating my breakfast in the kitchen, when my dad comes in and asks me if I want to ride around with him that day at work. Going to work with daddy meant you were sure to get all the fruit you wanted and that you would get to stop at the packing shed to visit Becky and get a piece of candy. We would start off down the driveway and make stops along the apricot orchard to turn on some water and check to see how the fruit was coming along. My dad would show me how to thin the trees so that there was more room for the fruit to grow and get as big and sweet as possible. Next, we would go over to Laton to check on the crews and sample the fruit. I was always full after a day at work with my dad! We would then stop by the packing shed where I would run back and get a piece of the lemon drop candy that Becky always had on her desk while my dad would talk with the salesmen and sometimes my uncles and grandpa. I loved being at the packing shed because everyone was always so nice and it was a nice treat to get out of the heat outside!
Even from a young age, it was easy to see the passion and love for growing fruit my dad has. He was very good at teaching us lessons through metaphors and old sayings that he had heard from his dad and grandpas; lessons of patience, trust, faith, growth, and love. My favorite lesson he told me recently was, “Heidi, if you could catch any fish what would you want?” I replied salmon or halibut because those are my favorite. He answered, “Well, we only have bass, yellow belly, and blue belly perch in our pond, so you couldn’t very well fish in our pond for the fish you want. Love and even friendship is the same; you gotta go to where the people you want to surround yourself with are at.” The simple life is the life my dad taught us girls to love. We never needed anything more than a little mud, the river, and some grass to run around on. We have a family orchard at my parents’ house and it was always so nice to be able to run out and get fruit whenever we wanted! It’s the simple things in life that make life great- riding in the truck with my dad at work, playing in the yard with my sisters, eating fruit from our family orchard, and spending time with the family. These are a few things that made my life pretty great!