Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Little Orange Tree That Couldn't

When we first moved to Florida, I planted a little orange tree.
It was a happy little tree, growing where it was, but my neighbor advised me to move it.
The tree, he said, would grow into the electric wires overhead.

So I moved the little orange tree to the other side of the house
 and waited for it to grow and bloom.
Nothing. Nada. For four years.
Surely, I'd stunted its growth by moving it.
Then one glorious day we spotted a flower, a promise of fruit.
We were going to have oranges!

When we returned from the summer in Iowa, yellow orbs hung on the little tree.
We watched them ripen. By the time they turned orange, the peels carried spots.
When opened, the fruit was wrinkled, lacking in juice, and bitter.
We decided we'd damaged the fruit by trimming the tree, feeding, or not feeding it.
 Each year we picked up the fallen fruit and put it in the garbage and
decided we'd be happy with the tree as a decorative asset in our garden.

This year, we were stunned by the beauty of the tree.
It had grown substantially in our summer's absence,
its limbs now draped heavily with yellow and green fruit.

Carmen, our neighbor on the other side, commented on the new garden beauty.
I don't know what happened while you were gone, she said, but your lemon tree is gorgeous!!

Lemon tree?
Turns out, if we pick the fruit at the yellow stage,
we have marvelous lemonade, honey/lemon tea, and lemon waters.

Who knew!?

Wish you were here to pick a few!

lemon tree very pretty
and the lemon flower is sweet
but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.
~~Peter, Paul and Mary

when life gives you lemons, make lemonade


Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

...For some reason it brings to mind the Albert Einstein quote...

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."

Genius little lemon tree!

Leslie said...

How funny! We have a wild orange tree in our yard, which took NINE years to bear fruit. Unfortunately, it also bore three inch long thorns! The fruit is only good for feeding the local squirrels, so it will eventually be replaced by something a little less thorny, like a crepe myrtle tree.

Anonymous said...

How Funny!!! Kim

rosaria said...

Don't forget to preserve those lemons for days when...
Never mind! You can always get lemons in Florida.

Beach House Living said...

Maybe it just wasn't ready and took it's time. Looks worth the wait. I agree just the pretty leaves makes it a nice tree. Enjoy!

S. Etole said...

What a bounty of beautiful lemons.

Dimple said...

Too funny! Of course, if one expects oranges and gets lemons, disappointment is inevitable. I'm glad you were able to change your expectations!

Debbie said... happy your tree finally let you know what it was. Lemonade sounds wonderful!!

Kaybe said...

Those are my favorite! We squeeze the juice into ice cube trays & freeze it. Stored in a ziplock bag it is a nice way to grab a few lemon cubes for beverages or for cooking. Welcome back.

TSL said...

Oh I love this story! And I love the hint that Kaybe just gave!!! Hope you are enjoying your time south. xo

mise said...

That's very funny, Becky, and your oranges/lemons look perfect.

Hanne Bente said...

Hej Becky.
Jeg ville ønske at jeg kunne plukke af dette træ- kan næsten dufte det.
Hvis skæbnen tildeler dig en citron, så brug kun saften.
Ønsker dig en god mandag.
Knus Hanne Bente ♥

Anonymous said...


mermaid gallery said...

how exciting! there is nothing i would rather must be cocktail time somewhere.....

emily wierenga said...

this made me laugh out loud, dear becky. what a wonderful surprise! i am learning that life is never what it seems...

Pierre BOYER said...

Have a sweet day dear Becky !
Greetings from France,


Ron said...

Ah, the simplicity and health of fruit! Fruit exemplifies the ideal of home and hearth. Thanks.

RuneE said...

A kind of "Ugly duckling" story :-)
Very entertainig story that I bet you will tell time and time again - and it deserves it.

Anonymous said...

ditto what ron said!
oh becky, it was like a little fruity faerie tale! very nice.
tammy j

Pooch Purple Reign said...

aw, that is such a cuuute story. i love it !!
and, thanks, its good to be back on the island. :)
~laura xx

Hanne Bente said...

Hi Becky.
A little mischief.
I'm not very good at English.
These things have I written in Google Translate.
Thanks for your comment, I've also got a comment from you about. 1 week ago.
Wishing you a good weekend.
Hugs Hanne Bente
Send you a link to Google Translate.|en|

Jeanne said...

I love it Becky...I can so relate to this post!! A wonderful story too....I think I love your lemon/orange tree now just as much as you do!
Best wishes for a wonderful weekend...
Jeanne.. said...

What a wonderful story, Becky! Glad you are making lemonade with what life threw ya.

Have a lovely weekend,

Beth said...

Nice to be given a smile on a dreary fallish/wintery day! Sounds like something I would do! And it would be my neighbor who would set me straight! :>)

Julie@beingRUBY said...

how sweet!! and I often find myself singing that song... if only all failures could miraculously transform this way.. ciao ciao xxx Julie

Kateri said...

Love this post. It is a reminder that you just have to let people (and things) be what they are supposed to be...


I love limes and lemons. Even just seeing them makes me happy. Your tree is so beautiful . . . a little welcome back to Florida present.