Saturday, August 13, 2011

Finally, the blackberries ... a birthday... and a little ice cream

Our summer moves more quickly, and more slowly, than any I've remembered. It was late this year, the weather in Oregon not sure what to do with itself. Kinda matched my mood, frankly.

My physical self rushes around, driving country roads on the way to camp. after. camp. after camp.

My all-too-active inner self soaks in the sunshine and reflects, light and otherwise.

This summer marks my dad's 60th birthday, my son's first birthday. My girls are playing multiple instruments apiece (we're apparently starting up a traveling family band).

I miss my grandmother something fierce this season. She and I used to pick blackberries every year. Our stained fingers filled the pails and she filled my mind with stories of her growing up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin; growing up in the Great Depression, having her first children in a log cabin, moving bravely across the country to San Francisco to raise all four babies through wars and an uncertain economy and civil unrest and gardening and on the whole living an amazing, rich life.

Yep. I miss my grandmother. So much so that a visit from her daughters, my dear aunts, brought me to tears. Just hearing Sandra's voice, so like her mother's, and seeing Pat's expressions, so like my grandmother's... this was the essence of summer fruit, sweet but tart. We wait a long time for that first bucket of berries, and then the ice cream and the pies and the cobblers crowd together so thickly that we think we can freeze some of it to enjoy later. But we can't. We have to gobble it up, this life. We have to take it as it comes ripe and say, this is what it is to live in the moment. Tomorrow's joys will be better, and fresher, if they're uniquely tomorrow's.

So this week we are enjoying the last camp (can you see me, ready to slump?) of the summer. Madeleine and Grace are fiddling around. (Har har.) They are playing Cajun music and loving it. The camp is across the road, run by the rural arts, and I am loving that. No driving. No driving myself crazy packing up the whole family. (Did I mention no driving?)

Paradoxically to my whole fresh fruit/live the now theme: Next week we may start canning, although I will likely have to buy produce at the farmstands since my garden has suffered the effects of a late start to the growing season and a general chaos in my being.

Not that I'm dramatic much.

I have missed you, friends. I hope your summer is as delicious and fresh as ours has been.


Alexis said...

I miss my Grandmother, and my other Grandmother... and yet the OTHER one too :( But I sure do like blackberries :)

Margo said...

just got my ice cream maker in the mail today - my husband says our first flavor is going to be blackberry! I'll think of you. . .and your grandma.

Katie said...

*sigh* Missing my Grandma also. Waiting for the berries to ripen...