Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Picking Blueberries

When I was a girl I spent my summer days with my brother at my grandmother's house.  I tagged along with her each day, her 'helper', while my brother looked for mischief with Danny, our youngest uncle.  We did the laundry and she would let me run the wet clothes through the wringer (once getting my hand and arm stuck, which remarkably did not cause me to lose my arm though that is what flashed before me as I saw myself looking more like my uncle Dickie -who'd lost an arm to polio as a child).  We baked sticky bread, and ate it with cups of cream with a splash of coffee.  After lunch we'd sit on the porch to rest awhile, watch the weather, quiet.  Sometimes, standing in her kitchen, grandma would call to me, hand me an old colander, and say 'let's go pick some blueberries'.  She had bushes along her back yard, and I'd hold the handles, lifting it's bowl to catch the berries she'd drop in by the handfuls. 
I was browsing when I came upon an old colander that conjured up this memory.  I had never seen one like grandma's in all these years, and there it was.  I was glad for the prompt.
Months later, I came across it again, still there in the etsy shop, and this time I bought it.
By the time it arrived, I'd forgotten again.  We were standing in the kitchen when I opened it, lifted it in my hands while the surprise of tears spilled out.  I was 9 years old, my hands feeling the handles as though it were only yesterday, the patina of memory timeless.  I told my husband I don't know why I'm crying, and he looked at me smiling.  I think he saw the girl I was remembering...

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