Texas Sunshine

I once smuggled a 10 pound bag of grapefruits on a trip from Brownsville, Texas to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Actually, I'm not sure smuggled is the right word considering that there is no easy way to tuck in grapefruits around your body. I could have gone for the fake pregnancy, but that would have been one lumpy baby. In the end I got through customs without any trouble. The officer probably smelled the citrus on the university student (I also had key limes) and was just relieved it wasn't pot.

How could I not bring them back with me? I'd just spent a week with my mom in Texas. She was living and working there courtesy of the 1990s health care cuts in Alberta. I spent Reading Week there, soaking up some sun, food, mom love, and absorbing the mystery of South Texas culture. Seriously, that is an odd place. Full of Winter Texans on golf and shopping trips, Mexicans coming across the border to have American babies, and every manner of poverty and riches on the same street.

I'd happily eaten grapefruits growing up in cold Canada, a winter staple in our house. But something about buying them from a roadside stand, still warm from the sun ,elevated them to smuggle-worthy status.

Sadly, we aren't in Texas this February. But with the quality of organic produce available in some stores, and the morning light streaming through the white dining room curtains I can fool myself into believing that this half circle of sunshine is actually still warm from the Texas sun. Sort of.

Besides, the fact that my mom used to live in Texas makes it local, right? How about the direct flight between here and Houston? Oh whatever. It's Canada in the winter and if I want a grapefruit I'm going to eat it.

Actually, we usually go through about 3 in the morning because the girls insist on climbing up next to me and sharing the segments as I cut them out of the fruit. I don't mind sharing. And one day I'll take them South to pick the fruit themselves, once my mom moves back. But I'm keeping them away from the crazy people who talk about buying handguns while they tan their feet.