Skip to main content

Dates...they grow on trees!

I've been back in Dubai a little over a week promoting my book, @Home in Dubai, and I'm staying in my old compound with a very dear friend.  She still uses Mohammed, the same gardener we both used while I lived in Dubai and it reminded me of a little story I wrote about one day when I pulled in my driveway and he was up in the palm tree in the front yard.  I thought I would share it for a little change of pace!

Dates...They Grow on Trees!
Our first summer living in Dubai brought with it the harvesting of dates.  What a novel idea.  I had never really thought about where dates come from.  I’m not a big date fan so I never had a burning desire to find out...and then one day…
I drove into the driveway on hot and steamy day and saw Mohammed the gardener up on a ladder on one of my palm trees in the front yard.  I adore Mohammed.  He has a great smile and infectious laugh.  Every day he would come to take care of my yard he would greet me with a hand over his heart and we would always exchange a word or two and a laugh.  I’m not sure what we laughed about since his English was limited but we always seemed to be able to make ourselves understood and often ended our conversations with a high five.  Anyways, I got out of my car, waved and smiled.
“Hi Mohammed.  Looks like you’re working hard today.”  It looked to me like he was cutting down these nasty looking pods at the top of my beautiful palm trees that had gone to seed (or so I thought).  He had a plastic grocery bag in his hand that he was putting the pods in.
I was expecting his usual broad grin but he hurried down the ladder, looked at me very sheepishly, hung his head and said, “Sorry madam.”
Puzzled, I asked, “Sorry about what?” 
He handed me the bag of nasty green seedy pod thingys and said sorry again.
“No, no.  That’s fine.  These needed to be cut down.  They look terrible,” I said pushing the bag back at him.  “I’m so glad you went ahead and did it.”
Then I finally got the familiar big grin as he realized that I had no clue what they were.  “Here,” he pushed the bag back at me.  “It’s dates madam.”
I looked at him confused, “Dates?”  They were green!  But then as I looked more closely there were some that were a golden yellow and others that were a light brown.  To my untrained eye they looked like they were rotten.
He nodded enthusiastically and handed me one and then bit into another one.  I wrinkled up my nose in mock disgust but he made mmm-mmm noises and pushed my hand, encouraging me to taste mine.  Now, as I said before, I’m not a big date fan but things usually taste better right off the vine, so to speak, so I was willing to give it a try so I bit into it.  I won’t say that I was blown away by the taste but I had to admit that it wasn’t bad.  I smiled at him and nodded.  “You’re right.  They are edible and they do taste like dates.” 
It took me a minute but it eventually dawned on me then that he thought I would be mad that he was “stealing” my dates.  I reassured him that I wasn’t mad at all and he could have all the dates he wanted.  I would keep just a few for my husband to try but insisted he take them all.  You would have thought I had given him the moon he thanked me so profusely.  You just never know, do you?
Dates are actually a very special crop in the UAE and there in my front yard were two DATE PALMS.  Who knew?  Good thing I didn’t cut them down as apparently I would have received a hefty fine.  I learned that there are even date growing competitions and an annual date festival held in the summer.  There are numerous varieties of dates as well.  There’s actually an International Date Palm Conference held every year in the UAE where date palm scientists and experts from all over the world share their knowledge and experience to the benefit of date lovers everywhere.


Popular posts from this blog

Virtual Book Tour for The Healing Begins April 23

As we approach launch day for Lynda Faye Schmidt's novel, The Healing , a women's fiction/family drama based on the author's life, we're excited to announce the blog tour schedule and introduce you to the bloggers and book reviewers who have joined the tour. The tour begins on launch day, April 23rd. Take a look, follow these bloggers and make sure you visit on the tour dates indicated (check back regularly for updates): Pre-Tour - March 2 - Thrive Global - pre-launch announcement  April 16 - Fit for Joy - pre-launch podcast interview with Lynda April 23 - IndieView - author Q&A with Lynda April 24 -  Canadian Bookworm  - featuring a guest blog by Lynda, "What Inspired Me" April 26 - Dartmouth Book Exchange - author spotlight April 29 - Storybook Reviews - review May 4 -  Help Me Sara  - podcast interview May 13 -  My Question Life  - review and author interview June 30 - Reader's Favorite - review  Date TBD - Maryse's Book Blog - review Date

By the Light of the Cresent Moon Virtual Book Tour

On August 26th, we will launch Ailsa Keppie's much awaited memoir, By the Light of the Crescent Moon . On the same day we will launch her virtual book tour, featuring the blogs below joining the tour with reviews, author Q&As and guest posts. Visit and follow these blogs and make sure you follow the tour. As the posts go live we will update the links here to go direct to the tour post. Thanks to the following bloggers & podcasters who have joined the tour: Dartmouth Book Exchange - author spotlight - August 23-26 The IndieView - author Q&A - August 26 Sarah Butland's Imagination Captured - book review - August 26 The Author Journey with OC Publishing - author interview - August 26 Canadian Bookworm - guest post by Ailsa Keppie, Why I Wrote My Memoir - August 27 Just Reviews - book review - August 28 Storeybook Reviews - guest post by Ailsa Keppie, The Voice in My Head - August 29 Lisa Haselton's Reviews & Interviews - author Q&A - August 31 Laura&

Holiday Launch Planned for Late Author's Second Children's Book

 We are saddened by the recent passing of the very vivacious, funny, gorgeous, and talented author, Jackie Arnason. Last year, at the age of 87, we published her first Children's book, Hambone-Why Pigs Have Curly Tails . After a brief illness, Jackie passed away in September of this year, while we were well-underway in the publishing process for her second book, Timothy Titus Terrance O'Toole and the Dragon. With the support of her family, we pressed on and will launch her book in December.  Jackie Arnason A beloved story-teller to all those who knew and loved her, with the publishing of her first book, and now her second, a lifelong dream has been fulfilled. Her legacy will live on in the lessons and magical stories she shared through the years. A prairie girl, born in a small town in Saskatchewan, Jackie's childhood years in the 'Dirty Thirties' were hard but the local library became her haven where she escaped into worlds she could only dream of growing up in Reg