Pears are one fruit that will not ripen while on the tree. They need to be picked when they turn from a grass green to lite green color.
Because pears ripen from the inside out, ripe fruit will give gently to gentle pressure near the stem.
Waiting until pears are soft around the middle may indicate over ripeness.
Your remembrance of ripe pears on the ground is throwing you off, because they were there several days ripening before you got to them.
Store unripe pears in a warm place outside of the refrigerator in a fruit bowl or in a paper bag. Check daily for ripeness.
Store ripe pears in the coldest part of the refrigerator. Pears are an ethylene producer. Avoid long term storage next to ethylene sensitive produce.
Pears produce odors which may be absorbed by cabbage, carrots, celery, onions and potatoes. Pears may also absorb odors produced by onions and potatoes. Take care not to store pears next to these items.
Never store ripe or unripe pears in plastic.
I would do the pruning, keep an eye on the irrigation, try to maintain an every 5day schedule in lieu of rain.
As for the soil test, there are ph factors to be aware of try your local extension for testing.
For further guidance on planting to harvest: uga.edu Pears