Feeling the Squeeze

Over seven million people
call the land of the five Cs home.
Copper, cattle, cotton, climate, and citrus-
the economic foundation
that drove the 48th state’s early days.

Long before copper was used
as a conductor of electricity
or European settlers began
digging for precious metals
across this desert land,
Native Americans used
the pinkish-orange metal
in their jewelry, pottery
tools, and weapons.

Over one hundred years ago
almost two million cattle grazed
in the Grand Canyon state
before becoming a slab of meat
on someone’s plate.
Less now roam the open range,
but they can still be found
in every county,
with over 7,000 cattle farms
calling Arizona home.

First grown in the late 1800s
by a Tempe man
who won a cash prize for his attempt,
cotton eventually caught on
as a major cash crop
in the valley of the sun.

As far as the eyes can see,
the sunset state
boasts endless sunshine.
Her golden rays are displayed
over 300 days out of each year,
but don’t look too close –
the climate that welcomes
can also scorch and burn.

Tiny flowers once swarming
with buzzing friends,
bloomed into a sweet smell
that is heaven sent.
It is now time to gather
the vitamin rich citrus,
peel back the layers,
and make pulpy O.J.,
and tart lemonade.
Vegan lemon cookies ~ Delicious!

Yesterday, I enjoyed seventy-degree temps, while working in the garden and picking citrus. Homemade lemony treats sweetened the night. What a delight! The low hanging fruit is the first to go (haha); today I will tackle the higher branches with a tool that extends. Then the fun begins! Making fresh juice, coming up with more citrus recipes, and sharing freshly picked produce.

I do feel for those across the nation and abroad who are experiencing extreme weather conditions. Stay warm and safe! If I could share some sunshine and fresh squeezed, I would. 🌞 We have our own version of extreme during the summer in the southwest region. Until then, I will enjoy this sweet and juicy season! Thank you for visiting. Be well. 💗 Michele

Enjoy my citrusy music selections! 🎶🍋 🍊🎶🍋 🍊😂🤣

Find more of my photos, reels, and micropoetry on IG ~ @mlsefton

Photos: my images

© 2021 Michele Lee Sefton

107 thoughts on “Feeling the Squeeze

    1. Living in the Redlands must have been amazing. I have witnessed disappearing citrus trees for many years. The scent of blooming orange trees used to sweeten the valley. Not anymore. I drive by old orchards on the way to my mom’s. It is like passing a ghost town. Very sad. Thank you for sharing. 🙏🏻

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad to educate and your surprise is warranted. The cattle industry is still a strong contributor to the state’s economy and jobs, but there are less cattle than there once was, with more competition beyond U.S. borders, and the state’s land development. Of course, there doesn’t seem to be less burgers being sold through drive-thrus. 😞 (my bias) Sadly, many old cotton fields are now covered in homes. Thanks for the visit, Brad, and for sharing your thoughts. 🎵

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Poetpas

    A tool that extends? Sounds familiar 😂 Healthy post! I remember a friend of mine lost his job at the lemon factory once. He couldn’t concentrate. Funny song that Lemon Boy 👦 by the way!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh, you’re familiar with the elongated fruit grabber? It does help with those hard-to-reach spots. 😂 Sorry to read about your friend’s lemon loss. Hope he found something that is less focused. 🤣 That’s what’s great about homegrown… I don’t have to concentrate. Laughing lemons, laughing out loud, I am! Thanks for listening! I can’t stop laughing at that song and video. Funny tart boys! 🎵🤣🍋😂

      Liked by 2 people

    1. hahaha You’re splitting me in two, making laughing tears flow. 😂 Giving me a sense of how my halved citrus feels. More fun for me, I suppose. 😁 I have considered getting a lime tree, but you are making me reconsider. 🤔

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes indeed, I’ll say! 😁🙏🏻hahaha That is a good sick joke! 🍋 I am dying.
        Will you please consider doing standup at my lemonade stand? My fresh squeezed and your funnies, we would drive the young competition out of business, or have a sweet and tart time trying! 🍋🍊🥤😂👏🏻💵

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Poetpas

        Limes can get ill too. It’s known as lime disease 😬 I’ll consider it…We could call it the witty city citrus circus 🎪 For lemonade and laughs…😁

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Your witty citrusy jokes are like my juicy trees – they keep on giving. 😂 Your lemonade stand naming is too good to not use. You are in good standing with me. haha Consider it a success! 👏🏻 A sweet and sour one. 😁 🍊🍋

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! She is a beauty in the sunlight, and she produced more fruit this year than last year, so that is nice too. 🌳 The cookies are delicious, I must confess! 😋 I hope that you do! I am always up for a trip to your part of the world. 🥰 Enjoy! 🌈

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a million, Cindy! 💖 Like most places, there is a lot of history in this soil – sometimes buried, sometimes turned. It is interesting to learn about the history of places. I will enjoy my liquid C and more citrus picking. I appreciate your visit and kind thoughts. 🙏🏻🌞

      Liked by 1 person

    1. A sunshiny citrusy delicious write… how nice! 🌞🍋🍊✍🏻 Yes, beauty to be found year-round. Please remind of this during the summer months, when here, I’d rather NOT be found. 🥵😢😆 Thank you for your visit and sunshiny comments, Jeff. Happy Saturday to you!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh, I bet those cookies are too delicious. Haha. 😅 It’s so true, there is beauty there year round. Ah, I will definitely remind you in the summer. 🥵 I remember, and that’s needed. You’re welcome, Michele. Always! Happy, well, now it’s Sunday. Happy Sunday! 💖

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, look at you Ms. Green Acres is the place to be! 👩🏼‍🌾 You actually harvest your own lemons and oranges? 🥭🍋🍊 You know my dear friend, it takes a lot to impress me, but dang girlfriend, you have impressed the hell out of me! LMBO 😂🌞🤣

    But seriously Michele, I am quite jealous that you are in the land of the 5 C’s and truly you are seeing the “fruit” of your labor. No pun intended! 😉 Now honey chile, I see why you get your dance on quite frequently! You have a reason to do it so extravagantly. What a treat, especially when the block chain has interrupted the amount of fruit and vegetables we are seeing these days! 😱

    Bask in the essence of your bounty my dear, and thanks for your flow of words that spell out the beauty of the 5 C’s territory! Hugs and smooches sweet pea!!! Enjoy your weekend! 😘💖🥰

    Liked by 2 people

    1. haha “Green acres is the place to be, farm living is the life for me…” 😆 It’s not so impressive. I just pick, sort and wash. Mother nature does all the work. 🌞 She does it so beautifully and effortlessly.

      This is the season to be envious of those living in the land of the 5Cs. I was jealous of your part of the world when I flew over your gorgeous green state last summer. I wanted to cry when I looked down at all the brown, when landing in Phoenix. You are so right about the supply disruption. 😨 Anything little thing we can do to help ourselves and our neighbors is a blessing.

      Thanks so much, Kym, for your presence here and for the fun and uplifting words that you share. Enjoy your Sunday. 🌞😘💖

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Michele, thanks for the laughs my dear. 😁 Well, today we got our wintry blast…ice, ice, baby!!! LOL 🧊🧊🧊 But sweetie pie, I adore your fruit trees. I would love to plant some in my backyard, but between the birds, squirrels, and those pain in the ass geese, they wouldn’t last through the buds. UGH! 🌳

        I have a cousin living further south of us who has banana, grapefruit and orange trees in his yard. I missed his harvest this year but next year I am already planning to hit him up! But he does the same thing as you, give it away to family living around him and to his neighbors. 🙏🏼

        Thanks so much for giving me a shot of energy today girlfriend. Keep feelin’ your squeeze!!! 🥂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. 😊 They are very good! More like a lemon biscuit than a cookie. Either way, I will enjoy. 😄 I will continue enjoying these cooler days until they fade into history when summer blazes in. Have a wonderful week. Stay creative! ✨ I love your work!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A wonderful educational & fun read, Michele, and you also look very restful in your garden. 🌻 Oh, and your writing has inspired another poem, posting Sunday ~ thank you for sharing. ✍🏼

    Liked by 2 people

    1. How nice. Thank you, Phil. Glad you enjoyed my post. As for being restful – it was a bit tricky doing a selfie that required me to situate and sit quickly. haha The cooler temps are enjoyable, yes. Happy to inspire. No poetic gushing though! 😂 Enjoy your day! 🌞

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Five is a significant number, Michelle. I’m intrigued you’ve chosen five Cs and for moment I thought you’re trying to propose alternate to “Five Cs of Singapore” which is a popular phrase here in Singapore. I’ll recommend you try lemon pickle. Nice list and I enjoyed your descriptions. Cheers. 😊

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Thanks for stopping by, Maria, and sharing a bit about your homeland. “Five Cs of Singapore” – interesting and a contrast from AZ’s 5 Cs. Lemon pickle sounds good. Thanks! Have a wonderful week! 🌞🍋

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I drown in snow whilst you pick your lemons and evoke inner warmth in me with your words and fine imagery, Michele! I love the little historical elements and past woven into each stanza, and how the five C’s hold it together compellingly.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The warmth continues, with your words! Snow is a beautiful gift too, allowing one to draw in and reflect, while drawing in from the cold. A little sunshine is also good for the soul. 🌞 Thank you, Jaya. A silly little poem – not the worst way to learn something. 😄

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! This is the desirable time of year to be in the valley of the sun… when the sun is friendlier. 🌞 The number of snowbirds here support my claim. 😁 The lemons are delicious, yes. Lemonade, lemon cookies – that is just the beginning! 🍋 Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I like thinking of these 5 c’s important products. How lucky you are for the citrus! My uncle used to have a grapefruit tree. Delicious. I guess the Hopi and Pueblo Nations were the first to grow cotton, but the Europeans starting growing it on a larger scale in the 1800s. : ) R

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Beauty and refreshing is a understatement, dear Michele!🌸 This poem reveals another layer of your talented writing as to masterfully blend history into storytelling and family life. The lines are Modern and stylish, energetic and joyful, full of the pulses of life itself! 💗🎊

    Thank you for sharing and your garden is lovely looking! I also see you have planted some greens 🥬! Perfect for delicious salad 🥗 🤩

    Liked by 2 people

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