Anne and I decided to take a break from holiday shopping and preparations by riding into the central Florida countryside. We drove past cattle ranches, long leaf pine farms, orange groves and a vineyard. When we reached Clermont, we discovered a U-Pick Orange Grove and decided to check it out.
A short walk from the parking lot, through and out the back of the country store, we were in the grove. Rows and rows and rows of citrus trees as far as the eye could see were laden with lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit. Some of the mature produce had fallen to the ground leaving behind fruit in varying degrees of ripening.
Flower buds, tricked into “thinking” it was spring by the warm December sun, bloomed attracting honeybees to sip the sweet nectar.
Back at the country store, Anne browsed the shelves of orange blossom honey, homemade soaps and local orange and citrus infused wines. She bought a few items to give as Christmas presents. It was a hot, humid day so I decided to pick the oranges in the store bins that were already harvested from the grove. We left, refreshed, relaxed and ready to cope with life’s challenges.