Monthly Archives: August 2009

Fruits of my Labour of Love

Truly, I am so blessed. There are so many people and moments in my life that I have to be grateful for. Right now, I am staying with my parents for a month before I embark on my next big trip. Every day I am reminded how fortunate I am to have them, even in all their eccentric ways.

The other day I woke up to find my mom already gone to work but a jug of fresh squeezed juice and just cut pineapple in the fridge for me. It was too good. I didn’t even let myself have it right away. I wanted to bask in the prospect. It has been a very long time since I have lived at home and felt Mom’s hospitality. More than half my life has passed since I moved out at 15. I forgot how it feels to be taken care of.

I wandered outside to discover what my Dad was up to and of course it was as I had expected. He was knee deep sorting his bottles, loading his truck with tools, and organizing his “stuff” empire which spans his huge garage, driveway and backyard. Dad has always been a serious putterer and now that he is officially retired from his career, I think I can safely call it his chosen profession. What I mean is that if Puttering was an Olympic sport, my Dad would not only take gold but he would swipe silver and bronze too. He’s that good.

I admired his focus for a while before spotting the billions of raspberry bushes sorely in need of a good picking. I rustled up a bucket and began my work. Many of the thorny branches were twisted into a gnarled mess keeping me from accessing the juiciest berries. I could see many a cluster of deep ruby plumpness caged in the prickly prison. They were screaming to be rescued. They were raging ripe. It was clear liberation could not wait even one more day or they would surely shrivel up and die. My frustration moved me towards the conclusion that I would have to sort this bush out if I wanted to do this properly.

I emerged from the mess and approached my Dad to ask for some rope to tie up the branches. I guess he is not used to having puttering partners because I scared the bejesus out of him. Literally. I promised after his retirement party last month, I wouldn’t “surprise” him anymore. I guess there is a difference between startle and surprise so it may be time to give the old guy a break. Note to self: Bear bells could be useful in keeping Pop’s blood pressure down.

After showing me the ropes, Dad tried to show me the “right” way to harvest the raspberries explaining the way they did it way back when this was a business for them. I thanked him kindly but told him I had my own style and was going to make an art of it. He shrugged indifferently scooping up a handful and popping the bunch into his mouth in one fell swoop as he turned to walk away. It was an impressive demonstration of seasoned skill. But I would be better, if not, at least more productive. I wouldn’t eat even just one.

I battled the red berry bushes for a good hour or two while August sun beat down on my neck. Something of a fruit picking fiend, I admit I became a bit obsessed with filling my bucket. Not even my arachnophobia would deter me. At first I tried to avoid the spiders, then I just ignored their beady little eyes taunting me from their razzy perch. But they had a knack for owning all the best looking berries. I had to face this fear if I wanted to be a player. Near the end of the patch, I knew I had arrived when without hesitation, I huffed and puffed and blew that daddy long legs right off one particularly perfect succulent scarlet fruit. Not this time Spidey…this one’s mine. Triumphantly, I strode into the house with the spoils of my decisive win.

I have to admit, when I finally did sit down to my breakfast of sweet pineapple spears and tangy orange-lemon kiwi juice, my drooling taste buds were just begging for it. Made specially with Mom love and it was the best I’d ever had.

Grateful for fruit.

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