When I was a kid, my mom was not shy about approaching people. Oftentimes, this was to my teenage mortification as she would actually talk to the person in front of us in the grocery line while I just wanted to curl up and fade away. But she was also not afraid to ask other people things that most people would not. Like "I see you've got a plum tree that no one is picking. Would you mind if we picked some of your plums?" I grew up in a big agricultural valley, so a bountiful harvest of fruits grew there that often fell to the ground, and my mom was not going to let that go to waste. We come from a long line of pioneer spirits (not to mention Depression-era survivors), and there's nothing more egregious than wasting anything, especially if it's edible. So we once gleaned 200 pounds of peaches from an orchard that had already been picked. And I once discovered containers of plums (from that unpicked tree) in our freezer, a decade after they'd been cut up and placed in old plastic margarine tubs for cold storage.
So when our new neighbors didn't look like they were going to pick the amazing harvest of cherries on the tree in their front yard, I didn't think twice about asking them if we could pick. And pick we have. And pick, and pick, and pick. I've put up about 12 quarts of cherries so far, and we've barely touched the tree. I only have a smallish ladder and the top 2/3 of the tree is quite literally going to the birds, but we've got cherries galore and they are simply gorgeous. So today I'm thankful for my thrifty German and Scottish ancestors, and for my forward-thinking mom who set such a good example (even if it embarassed me at the time) of not letting something go to waste when a simple question might yield a bounty.