He’d drop it off on the shaded front porch, if we weren’t home.

Later, we’d pick up the crinkly brown paper sack filled to the top with homegrown drops of sunshine: juicy, red tomatoes.

I marveled at the generosity of the gift– a whole sack! To this day, I still don’t recall his name, and I can’t remember ever seeing his face– the giver of the tomato gifts. Summer after summer, he’d do the same: bring over a grocery sack full.

Sometimes, we’d wonder if we’d be able to eat them all in time before spoiling. My mom was careful to not let them spoil; she’d begin the process of cooking and freezing. I can’t count the number of times she asked me to run to the basement freezer for a ziploc bag of crushed or diced tomatoes to use in cooking.

Few things compare to the taste of a fresh garden tomato, homegrown under a warm Alabama sun. To this day, I can still look forward to these sweet slices of deliciousness on bread when I visit, because… The Giver is still giving gifts.



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