Thursday, June 16, 2011

Where's Grandpa? A Gardening Story

Low Hanging Fruit - Boughton Farms Strawberries
I'm just back from my second picking session at Boughton Farm, conveniently located about a mile from my house.   Strawberry season is brief, so you need to fill up while you can and tuck some away in the freezer, or make jam.  Fresh, local strawberries are nothing like the giant, hollow, vaguely tasteless ones available year-round in plastic clamshell containers. 

As I was picking, I remembered a funny story from my childhood.  (Aunt Alice - you'll remember this one!)  My grandfather had a fairly good sized vegetable garden.  There were a few rows of strawberries, mulched with straw, like the fields at Boughton Farm.  The berries were small and sweet, and tasted like sunshine. 

Family gathered on the long front porch, relaxing on the aluminum lawn furniture (I was partial to the glider) on a warm, summer day.  Cocktail hour was regularly rung in with a Highball for each of my grandparents. (My grandmother had a large collection of crocheted glass cozies that she referred to as pants, as in "Bob, don't forget to put pants on your Highball", which prevented the dreaded ring on the end table). 

My grandfather was a slight man, and he had a big backpack garden sprayer, which at this stage, I am pretty sure I don't want to know what it contained, but he strapped it on and disappeared into the garden somewhat regularly.  

On this particular occasion, after he'd gone missing for awhile, someone said "Where's Grandpa?"  A search ensued.  Turns out Grandpa might have had an extra strong Highball and was flat on his back like an overturned turtle, backpack attached, tucked among the garden rows.  The memory still cracks me up.

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