Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Thanksgiving for a harvest

I'm so tired right now that it's hard for me to pull my thoughts together for this post. Today was full of unexpected events that left me thanking God for providing so well for my family.

I was supposed to take care of an extra child today, but it turned out that I wasn't needed after all. I must confess this was a bit of a relief. My long list of summer projects has been sitting idle lately due to all the extra babysitting I've been doing.

However, my dear mother-in-law called me up and asked if I and the kids would like to go to great-grandma's house to pick blueberries. Now I'm embarrassed to say I had been calling around getting quotes for U-pick blueberries because I had forgotten that great-grandma had them; plus I thought now that she's in her 80's she probably was not able to up-keep them anyway... which shows what an ignorant little lady I am. Mrs.Darling set me straight on that by informing me that they take no up-keep at all. Point taken.

By the way, these blueberry bushes were planted when great-grandma was a teenager. Which makes those bushes quite elderly. Call me fanciful, but there is something special about picking berries from the same bush that your great-great-grandparents did.

But back to my story. These bushes were loaded with blueberries. Honestly, we didn't even make a dent in them. Great-grandma hadn't picked any at all. We managed to pick 40 lbs in an hour and a half.

While I was thrilled to be getting the berries, I enjoyed even more hearing my mother-in-law telling funny stories from her youth to my kids. She had them laughing so hard. As I listened to them chattering and laughing back and forth, I experienced one of those moments of feeling like this was a memory I wanted to keep forever. This is a lady whose mother died when she was 11 years old, who pretty much became mother and housekeeper of their home. I know enough to know that she could be a bitter or grouchy old lady, but instead she's one of the most positive people I've ever met. I'm truly blessed to have her as the grandma of my children.

By the way, great-grandma also had blackberry bushes! These had not been netted, so the birds had eaten quite a few of them. But I was still able to pick about 7 lbs, which are pictured here in another form.

I was a bit irritated with myself because I failed to bring my camera along for the trip. Great-grandma has a beautiful... well, I don't know what you call it exactly. There are landscaped paths (all done by her and her husband; both of whom are in their 80's) , a pond, a forest... it most closely resembles The Secret Garden of anyone's house that I have personally been to.

Oh, and it also has a burn-pile and pit that the Artist and Princess found about half-way through our visit. They were delighted to say the least. And that is where the Artist found his (and I quote) "buried treasure."

His "treasure" turned out to be these clips used to cinch a belt around the waist of a man's pants. I'm not quite sure I understand how it worked exactly;) Anyway, they and the case they were in seem to have survived whatever fires they had been through, and my son was told he could take them home. To say that he was happy about that would be a definite understatement.

So we headed home, stopping along the way for grandma to get the kids happy meals, which they rarely get so it was actually a treat.

This also happened to be the day of the month that my husband works his shift at our gleaner warehouse. Many people have a view of gleaner's programs as being where you get old, outdated items of food. I admit there are probably reasons for them thinking so, due to some of these programs being not as well run as others. Fortunately, we belong to one that is run very well, and it has been an incredible blessing to our family. It is run very similar to a Costco warehouse, with huge freezers and pallets of a variety of items. We pay $45. a month to be part of it, and each family also does two hours a month helping in the warehouse. We have a very small grocery budget, so I lean very heavily on what we get through this program. Which means it gets pretty interesting, as you don't know exactly what you'll get each week.

So hubby came home tonight with a large load of various items. It was a very good pick-up this week. But what I was really excited about was the following:

You're looking at 9 lbs of California SummerWhite Peaches. Every one of these was so perfect, I promptly informed hubby that they were too pretty to eat!

The dear man also brought home this box of Rainier cherries. I love cherries, but I consider them a luxury (have you looked at their price tag lately?) . I had to go through the box (which was too heavy for me to carry to the counter) and I would say about 3/4 of it was good. I'm planning to freeze most of them so I (I mean we) can enjoy them slowly:)

Did I mention that hubby also came home with two large boxes of Cinnabon rolls? Including one of the pecan kind, a definite weakness of this off-the-dieting-wagon girl! To be honest, I was so excited about the fruit, the cinnamon rolls just slipped into the background (temporarily I assure you).

This post has gotten longer than I planned. But I wanted to share how just when I was worried about a harvest (see my dismal garden post;), God provided one for my family. I am a person that truly believes God has a hand in days like this. So I'm compelled to give him credit and thanks for it.

Well, it's now almost 3 am; time for all jam-making, freezer-stocking mothers to go to bed. Tired, but with a good feeling that I've set in store provisions for my family's future.

I do declare, I think Mrs.Darling's starting to rub off on me;)


Brandi said...

It sounds like you had a day that you will all remember for a long time. That was a wonderful blessing to receive all that good fruit.

Niki said...

God is good. It is amazing how he provides. I have never heard of the food co-op you talked about. How does that work? Lucky you for the peaches, we are still waiting for ours to arrive in stores. I make a large batch of jam and canned peaches. Also I have never seen the cherries but you are right cherries in general are worth an arm and a leg.

Mrs. Darling said...

Looks like you got a good supply of berries. My blueberries are almost over for the season. Im going to give them a good picking today and I think that will be it.

Those are Royal Anne cherries. Can you believe we have a tree of Royal Annes in our backyard? We never do anything with it because none of us really like cherries. Matter of fact it's coming out the second week of August. We're getting a backho in and its taking out our pie cherry tree, the bing cherry and the Royal Ann. Pull those Royal Annes apart and check the pits very carefully. They are notorious for a tiny white almost invisible worm that curls around the seed.

That artist is going to make an archeoligist someday!

Kaye said...

Wow! Isn't it awesome that God is always faithful?

It looks like you had quite a fun day with the family. Your kids have no idea that they are lucky to have such exposure to their family. Too many kids don't get to see their grandparents and therefore have no appreciation and love for the generations that have gone before us.

And I have to comment that those peaches are BEAUTIFUL! Wow! Great job, hubby!

Nikki said...

It's amazing how God provides, isn't it? I'm glad that you got such a bounty, especially those free blueberries. Better than free because of the time with your family.

frasypoo said...

What wonderful fruits !
My husband knows several people at our local Farmers market and they offer him fruits and veg all the time and because he is usually on the bike he refuses them.Makes me so mad!He has no idea how much they cost!

PS:I dont have a blog anymore