Storm clouds are gathering on this Sunday afternoon. I see more rain trying to escape from my already waterlogged, crystal ball. Oh no, I spotted "Midges" more of those large feisty adult knats that targeted my head and neck last week! There is still evidence of several brutal attacks on my face and neck area today. The mosquito- like insects was attracted to and fed well through and beneath my age spots. They dug deep into my wrinkles.
I can't blame it on the West Nile carrier. Young slap-happy mosquitoes wouldn't touch my face with a ten-foot stinger. I am a killer.
This open breather swallowed a Midge. Imagine that. They are not like a coin. I don't know for sure, but it may still be lying in state amid the aging ruins of this fruit picker.
Tomorrow we will focus our attention on the garden spot again, weather permitting. Regardless, of the ordeal the plants and the soil beneath them went through; our little garden is beginning to broaden its smile and so; we smile!
Green beans are another story, I'll have a hard/ tough row to hoe to bring the best out in them now, but I'm sure they will snap out of it. Later in the summer I'll be purchasing jowl bacon and new potatoes and allow the threesome to slow cook in the iron kettle and marry.
I can see one or two of my young roosters fried to a crispy brown and piled high on a pretty platter, next to a big bowl of good tasting green beans and other summer time favorites on our dinner table.
Other vegetables will be ripe for harvest in the months ahead and; I'll be using my thinking cap to best utilize the Sartor's good fortune. That is, if the deer only sample what they didn't help sow. The little red hen is free hearted to a degree, but not to a fault, especially with those darn pesky deer.
This week, I will be concentrating on what comes about when weather conditions are favorable; the raspberries are looking good. My hands have already been stained a few times.
Dad and Mom, my siblings and I always made berry picking time a family affair. We picked the plump versatile berries, dropped them into tin cans and carried them home in five gallon buckets, sometimes spending several hours in the patches we frequented each day until the vines could give no more.
The jellies and home canned goods looked so grand on the cellar shelves when the works were done. We were so proud. Mom counted and recounted the shiny ball jars containing the processed fruits of our labors. We loved her delicious cobblers and enjoyed sizable wedges of her pies baked to perfection in the coal range oven in our old kitchen.
She didn't own a jelly thermometer and wasn't too keen on measuring ingredients or following recipes, but always, that self- taught lady made perfect jellies and jams. The contents of the squat glasses tasted so fine when spooned on and spread out on hot toast made in our two-door electric toaster, with the frayed cord. I laced my slices with real butter on special occasions or squeezed a little color into the white oleo and gave my case knife a workout. We burst several color capsules in those days. I, then added the fruit spread of the day. Imagine that!
I preferred jelly when I was a kid. However, these days jam gives the lackluster bread that we buy a nice coat to wear with Shedd's Spread, until it finds my taste buds and becomes history.
My sister, Sandra, enjoyed eating her share of the prepared fruit as much as I did, but my brother Johnny filled up on raspberries and blackberries in the patch. And yes, I needed the closest make-do toothpick available many times myself before I arrived back to the barn.
In fact, it was he who introduced me to the pleasant experience that a ripe tomato sprinkled with a few grains a table salt taken from a borrowed shaker with a silver cap could bring about when eaten at the vine.
That's the same kid that taught me to roll dried corn silks, from the corn crib down the road, into small pieces of paper taken from the pages of "The Brazil Daily Times" and smoke them during some of our berry picking trips.
Lucky for us, we aired off and had a chew or two of Double Bubble gum handy. Smoking those fat funny hands rolled fags gave me a jolt and for a brief time I forgot berries, bush and all. I was sick as a dog. After the fact, he said that I would grow hair on my chest. I never did. Funny thing is; I still remember the taste and smell of those loosely packed lung testers.
I shall never forget my wonderful brother, a good leader to follow. Mark Twain would have found that risk-taking boy interesting. He never knew a dull day.
Of the people in this piece, only my sister and I remain. How nice it is that we can still recall most of all that once was when the simple pleasures of life was all we had to deal with. Memories are precious and very important to my store. God is good.
I can be reached at 446-4852 or drop me a line to 613 No. Elm St., Brazil, IN., 47834 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.