Friday, July 04, 2014

Fruited Plains

Grandmommy and I are just retiring to bed while unlicensed explosions rip the air outside.  I hope none of these bottle rocket-happy Independence Day revelers sets himself or a house on fire! Grandmommy has no interest in fireworks (I love them), but we are both too exhausted to even look out the windows to spot any glittering sparklers.

We picked three gallons of blueberries yesterday afternoon...

... and then drove out to a local farm to gather a bushel of pink-eye peas.  The lady at the farm told us to pack our half-bushel buckets as full as we could get them, and we actually ended up with 27 lbs of peas, two more than the standard bushel.  Then we brought them home to dump on a clean sheet in the den and started shelling.

I shelled 18 lbs of peas in about four hours, then helped Grandmommy find the few wormy ones before she blanched them and packed them in stuffed pint bags for freezing.  She froze most of the blueberries, too.

This is the second time in a week I've been down at Grandmommy's--my sister and her family visited last weekend, and so Mums and I drove down Saturday to see them and spend one night.  My nephew and niece were enthralled by the blueberry bushes in the backyard, and the three of us--Brad, Rita and me--passed hours picking fruit, eating berries straight off the bushes while filling our baskets.

The two young fry made up stories while they darted around in the thicket, pretending they were "woodland sprites" who would magically fill pickers' baskets with ripe blueberries if treated well, but unripe pink ones if scorned.  Grandmommy came down for a while to admire the children's superior skills in selecting good berries: 

The ham, hamming it up.

A full half-gallon each.

.When we finally came inside, Rita immediately occupied herself with her great-grandmother's typewriter .... 

... painstakingly composing a story (I don't know if it was a blueberry or Harry Potter-inspired fantasy, as she finished reading a well-thumbed copy of The Order of the Phoenix in Saturday and was well launched into The Half-Blood Prince on Sunday).

While Brad played with interlocking blocks on the floor.

I had a bad Skype interview for a teaching job in Russia on Wednesday, and returned to Dublin by myself Thursday, with the purpose of housecleaning.  Grandmommy is doing well, but her vision isn't as sharp as it was, so her bathroom and other bits of the house needed additional scrubbing.  The cleaning, the blueberry and pea-picking, and the pea-shelling was cumulatively a real workout.  Today I haven't done much besides eat enormous quantities of delicious food and lose two games of Scrabble.  It's no wonder my jeans are getting harder to zip, despite all the exercise I get.  Soon, all I will be able to wear is a Spandex muumuu.

Two silly children with their increasingly round aunt.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Those kinds of activities nourish children's souls