While grapefruits were always a little too tart for me (and by the time I put on enough sugar to make that less so, it kind of defeated the purpose of eating it) oranges always held a very special place in my heart. Growing up, my aunt and uncle and grandparents lived on the St. John's River in Astor, Florida. Astor is a tee-niny little town with a post office, a food mart (that's actually what it's called) and like 4 restaurants. My aunt and uncle owned one of the only 2 places to stay if you happened to visit (mostly bikers during bike week or fisherman looking to catch "the big one" on the St. Johns) and if I remember correctly, there isn't a stop light. There may be a blinking light. Maybe.
Going to visit was about spending time with family. It wasn't about Disney World or the beach (though those were close by if you wanted to go) but instead it was about watching the sun create glittery patterns on the river, listening to the waves splash against the docks as barges drifted by, and long talks with my grandparents. It was the kind of place you could actually breathe and hear yourself think. Aside from a speedboat or my grandfather's saws spinning in his shop, the world was quiet there.
And something you could ALWAYS count on at my grandparents was a huge breakfast every morning. You'd wake up to the smell of grits, toast, bacon, sausage, eggs, croissants and of course the juiciest, sweetest, fresh orange wedges from my grandmother's trees out front. I would eat plate after plate of her oranges. Sweet, sticky juice dripping down my hands, warm sunlight on my back- it's one of those memories that just holds on and stays with you. To this day I can't see an orange without associating them with my grandparents and those easy summer mornings. As soon as I cut into one I can almost hear the rustling of the newspaper as my granddad turned the pages and the shuffle of my grandmother's slippers as she cleaned up while we all ate. (Seriously. You could never get her to sit down. She always worried about everyone else. Was your grandmother like that too?)
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