Oranges To Oranges

This is Deputy Digby Pancake. Some things get compared. Sunshiney to rain.

Waffles to pancakes.

Oranges to oranges. Yes. You can compare oranges to oranges.

In this Florida place, oranges are treasured. They don’t grow like they used to.

Oranges are meant to be enjoyed. If there was a way that they could be pancakes on the inside when they were peeled, they would be perfect.

Girl Person has been feeling a bit under the weather this week. Allergies and dump smells mean for a lot of sneezing and coughing. So she decided to double up on her orange intake.

You would think that if you are in this Florida place, you could just walk outside and pick one off of a tree. But not so easy. Rarely though, when we are hiking in the woods, we find an orange tree that used to be taken care of. Maybe someone used to live there and moved away. And when we find one, Girl Person gets so happy. Because even if they are old and have went back to their root stock and they are sour, she can still use them like lemons! There is always a use for something or someone even if their purpose has changed.

And as we were walking yesterday at camp, we did find an old tree! No, it didn’t have a lot of little oranges. Only a few. And Girl Person had to climb to get some. But she did! They weren’t pretty or shiny. But Girl Person was happy anyways! And she saved them for later.

That same day, she had to go to the store to get some food for us. When she was there, she told us she found an oh so pretty bag of oranges. All shiny and perfect and lovely. She couldn’t resist. Yes. She remembered her less than perfect oranges at home. But these. These oranges were going to be great! She thought.

She got home and was all excited. She couldn’t wait to eat one of those shiny oranges.

As soon as she took her first bite, she knew.

You guessed it. It was plain sour. You would have thought Girl Person had just lost a million dollars instead of $8. But all of a sudden, she saw it. A lonely, dirty orange on the picnic table. Only waiting to be squeezed on a taco. It wasn’t planned to be enjoyed on its own. But now. It had a chance.

She peeled the little orange and took a bite and it was as sweet as her Pappy’s feelings towards his orange grove years ago. She was immediately transported back there and heard his words.

“Oranges aren’t always pretty. But the trees should be. Do as little as possible to them and let them be. They will give what they want to for as long as they can. Don’t mess with them too much. You’ll just mess it up.”

You see, in their orange grove, they didn’t have endless rows of trees. But the trees were often overflowing when other trees struggled all around. And although one day they stopped growing oranges and slowly died, they had done a good job. Yes. Other trees were there longer. But they were never as pretty. They never tasted like Pappy’s trees.

Oranges to oranges? Who can compare? It isn’t always how someone or something looks on the outside that tells you what’s on the inside, is it?

You see, shiny things may be shiny. But who or what are you looking past because of a little imperfection? Imperfection makes life delicious. Take a bite.

Deputy Digby Pancake

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How Long Are You Here For?

This is Deputy Digby Pancake. There are a lot of things we hear at camp. “Where’s the trash?” “Where’s the bathroom?” “Where’s the wine?” Ok. That’s just Girl Person that asks that.

As we were taking our walk around this particular campground this morning for the last time, a new camper was walking around looking at all the other RV’s and tents.

That’s what people do at camp. They look at everything. And then they ask more questions. “How does that thing drive?” “Are you full-timers?”

This new camper that was walking around happened upon another new camper. It was about 9 in the morning. And not too early for a dirty martini. Oh no. It’s never too early for a dirty martini at camp. You might as well. Everything is dirty anyways.

This new camper walking around was thrilled to see a dirty martini and another new camper enjoying the morning. That coffee mud in a cup for these folks was just not in the schedule.

And as the camper saw that it was happy hour at 9 a.m. at this campground, he said loudly, “How long are you here for?!” Yes. The most often asked question at camp. But never before had it been said with so much enthusiasm. He liked this camp.

Girl Person began to wonder if her usual mud in a cup was going to do the trick this morning after seeing such a display. Here this other camper was with her fancy tablecloth on a fancy tray table with a fancy glass and fancy olives. Her campsite was just like ours with dirt. Her campsite was just like ours but extra dirty. It was very. Extra. And she was very happy to answer this other camper’s question. You see, she was just here till the weekend. But she was going to make it count. Even if she couldn’t count right then.

Do any of us really know how long we are here for…no matter where that is? Do any of us know how long we can enjoy any one spot we land in?

Sometimes you have to forget about what is expected of you, what your schedule says and what other people’s schedule say. Time is short for us all. Sit. Stay awhile. But if you want to dance, have that martini. Be you. It’s no fun being fake.

That may not mean more time but more attention. When you show others that you can enjoy life, they won’t feel so guilty about enjoying theirs!

So sit down. Stay awhile. Or dance. It’s up to you. And ask yourself, “how long are you here for?”

-Deputy Digby Pancake

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