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Thursday, June 9, 2011
I grew up on a dirt road, in a little house surrounded by fields and pastures. On one side, a horse named Dusty lived happily for many years. We had cats, lots of them, who were mostly feral but liked my mom, if no one else. We always had a dog, too. On our front porch, a swing hung from the slatted wooden ceiling. Many days were spent there, just watching life go by. The little elementary school I attended from kindergarten to fifth grade was less than a quarter of a mile away, and the little place my mom worked was about twice that. All in all, my world was pretty damn small back then, But it was good, simple, uncomplicated. I remember picking blackberries one summer, all along the tree line where the briars grew. We picked so many of the wild, juicy berries that we had enough to make jam. I don't know if you've ever made jam, but it takes a LOT of berries.The same year our peach trees bore a ridiculous amount of fruit, and we made jam from that, too. I want my kids to appreciate that kind of glorious simplicity, to be innocent of the crazy world outside that never slows down, never sits on the porch to appreciate the life lived. Our blueberry bushes are full of not-quite-ripe berries. In a couple of weeks, we're making jam.