Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Memories of Manchester - Fruits

I have a love for fruits....I don't think I've ever met a fruit I didn't like!  Of all the fruits that I remember from my days in Manchester the Mango and the Jackfruit remain my favorites. 

Mangoes of all kinds..East Indian, Julie, Bombay, Common, Hairy, Number 11, Stringy, Blackie, Turpentine, Sweetie-come-brush-me, Hayden to name a few!  I looked forward to Saturday mid morning when Mama would come home from the market in Mandeville and would bring bags of common mangoes.  I would wait anxiously with my cousins for our share, then we would find a place to sit and eat them, stripping the skin away with our teeth, juice running down our arms, getting to the sweet flesh.  Why just the other day my brother encouraged me to "find a cheap plane ticket and come man - is mango season!"

Now the Jackfruit is another story altogether...We had a huge tree in the back of the first house at Williamsfield, just behind the outside stone fireplace. That tree grew so tall I don't believe we ever saw the top of it. The fruit it bore would easily weigh upwards of 25 lbs!   After devouring the sweet, pungent contradictory flesh, we would roast the seeds in the hot ashes from the fireplace, because there was always something cooking at Mama's house! 

As I walk through Williamsfield in my mind, I can think of the Ortanique, Navel Orange, Common Orange, Ugly Fruit, Grapefruit, Star-Apple, Tangerine, Ota-heiti Apple, Guavas, Yellow Coat Plums, June Plum, Guineps, Sugar Cane, Coconut, Chocolate, Soursop and Custard Apple trees.  Now there is a story about the Navel Orange tree out by the "Common".....no one could pick a fruit from that tree.  Those oranges were saved for Harvest time at the Church.  That's for another chapter. 

Won't you come back to read some more?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Memories of Manchester - An Introduction

This is the title of my soon to be released book.  It is a compilation of my childhood memories of growing up in Manchester, Jamaica.  I have such great memories of my times in Manchester.  One of my earliest memories is walking to Hope Prep School, the swing set at the back of the school and Mrs. Evans my teacher. This is where I learned to read about the Little Engine that Could and Dick and Dora.  Hope Prep was located in Hope Village, just above Williamsfield, where my Grand-parents lived.  During this time, My mother was living and working in Kingston, the Capital of Jamaica, having gone there to work and to set the stage for a better life for my brother and me.  You see my father passed away when my brother and I were very young.  The details of which you'll read further on.

Williamsfield (which by the way, I thought was named after my grand-parents) is the place where I tend to retreat to in my mind when I need to "breathe".  My memories of Manchester are so rooted in that place, just at the round-about, with the house on the hill, Mama's house just off the side of the road , Aunt Gwen's house to the rear of the land and the family burial plot just above the "common".

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Have you plotted your course? Do you know what direction to take?

I recently read an article and one of the lines that stood out to me was, "Direction determines destination" (Thanks Jim Rohn).  It hit me like a ton of bricks.  How many times have you headed out on a journey, knowing exactly where you want to go yet found it hard to actually get to your destination? You took many twists and turns along the way, still wondering why you cannot arrive at your destination.  One could argue that the twist and the turns add excitement to the journey and may teach you lessons along the way.  What are your thoughts?