Awareness in Season
Up on Blue Mountain,
inside the white cloud,
I am the berry picker.
Without the berries,
I am not.
Bears like berries too
And I am wary.
Who’s bush is this,
Hers or mine?
This moment it is mine,
But that can change.
Good ole summertime! I am always amazed during this season at the abundance of food available and new life. Fresh fruits and vegetables! The blueberries this year are plentiful and delicious beyond words. I smile when I think that I share the blueberries with the bears when they are not in sight. Yes, blueberries are a gift each summer!
When I lived on the farm, as a young girl, we raised many kinds of vegetables. We raised acres of tomatoes for the Hanover Foods Cannery. My siblings and I would help pick tomatoes, but we often hired people to help us. My mother canned jars of tomato sauce to use later.
Corn was another big crop we planted. I can still hear my mother calling and reminding us, “it’s time to pick the corn.” We’d march out to the corn patch carrying our bushel baskets. First, we checked to see if each ear of corn was ready to pull and if it was, we’d pull the corn off the stalk. I remember the straight rows of corn and no weeds showing because we pulled them early. The corn was a gift for our family, and we sold a lot at the local markets. Having corn on the cob was to die for and still is. My mother did a great job canning and freezing the corn for the winter. I can still taste the “corn pudding” that she often made when we had company.
Another memory I have was the abundance of growing peas, beans, carrots, and more. Hard work, yes! There was a lot of prior preparation that went into canning and freezing. I remember my mother, sisters, and I sat in a circle to shell the peas or snap the string beans in half. The real fun was when we heard mother humming a hymn, like “Heaven Happy Home Above” or “To God Be the Glory,” “Brighten the Corner Where You Are,” and then we would join her singing Acapella. Singing made the job go by faster.
For me, it is essential to be aware of how good we have it. I need to remind myself daily to be grateful for everything. My book, “Teachable Moments” – A Woman’s Discovery of Self-Discovery – page 45 is a glimpse of my farm life.
What particular “summertime” memories do you have when you were a child? What is your favorite fruit and vegetable?