The Volunteer Ground Cherries of Forgiveness

Last summer the Pershey household was briefly rent asunder by an ugly argument. The girls and I had left town on very short notice - as in, when Ben left for work in the morning, he did not know we would be jumping in the car and caravanning to Ohio with the Dillow family.

When we got back a few days later, the plants were dead.

Not all of them; the garden was dry but not dead. The casualties were just a few of the potted plants, including the ground cherries that were gifted to us at the beginning of the summer. I had no idea what to expect, never having tasted ground cherries before. I'd been tending the mystery carefully, watering regularly and reminding Ben to water while I was in the hospital.

I was livid. Like, perhaps more livid than one should be over a dead plant. In my defense, there were probably still some crazy-making post-partum hormones in my system, but I raked Ben over the coals for his sin of omission, acting as though he had personally wounded me instead of merely failing to water a plant.

(As it turns out, my love language is WATER THE GROUND CHERRIES.)

The other day I noticed a weed growing among the gravel and concrete blocks. I meant to pull it last week but I didn't have gloves on, and my mother recently told me story about a woman who contracted a horrible skin disease by pulling a poisonous weed.

On Sunday afternoon I was working in the yard and was startled by how big the weed had gotten. I crouched down to investigate, only to realize what it was: a volunteer ground cherry plant, vigorous and healthy, growing in the most unlikely spot.

Come harvest time we're going to try ground cherries for the first time; maybe I'll even make ground cherry jam. Whether they are sweet or sour, smooth or pulpy, I know one thing. They will taste just like forgiveness.

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