Tuesday, 14 August 2012

The Simple Things

The year was 1967, Canada's Centennial year.  I was fourteen and I didn't give a hoot about the celebrations. My dad had been promoted from principal of a two room school to a full fledged eight room.  We'd moved to a small house on a lake, just outside of Sudbury, and we had a new boat with a 60 hp motor.  We kids were WILD about water skiing!  We skied all day every day.  We ran the boat around to break up the skim ice in the fall and skied in our clothes!

Although we were lucky to have parents who gave us unlimited use of a boat, they would not pay for the gas.  With no such thing as an allowance and no jobs to be had, this presented a huge problem until I came up with the bright idea of picking blueberries and trying to sell them to tourists.  Off we went with a six quart basket, into the forest, and started picking.

Wild blueberries will grow in the teeniest bit of poor soil and are are found everywhere in northern Ontario.  To be sure, you have to keep an eye out for these guys!  Those same berries supply the biggest part of their diet. ~

This black bear is standing in unripe blueberry bushes

Then, we walked a mile or so to the highway and stood there waiting for customers.  I don't think we even had a sign.  What idiots!  Almost immediately a car pulled over and a nicely dressed southern couple got out.  Now, we had no idea what blueberries cost.  Why would we ever buy them?  So, we took a shot and asked for $2.  Gas was 33 cents a gallon and it took five gallons to fill the tank.  They handed that money over lickety split and practically burned rubber getting out of there.

We laughed all the way home about stupid tourists who would pay $2 for something they could find on a rock cliff along the highway!  I'm sure they laughed, almost all the way to Toronto, about the stupid, hillbilly kids that would pick a six quart basket and sell it for $2!  We spent the rest of the season picking and skiing, picking and skiing.

There's no comparison between wild blueberries and farmed ones and the real thing sells for about $8 a pint these days.  Even the cultivated ones are pricey, so I've taken a stab at growing my own.

Four years I waited for my first little crop! ~

I was just about wild with excitement!  Although I shared my raspberries fairly with the chickens, I kept most of these babies for myself.  There was really only enough for one person to have a bit of a treat but I've have great hopes for the other four bushes next year!

I'd like to tell you these are mine, but I had to go to a blueberry farm to buy enough for the freezer.  I just liked the simplicity of the berries and the drying rose petals. ~

Four quarts cost me $24.  Where are the hillbilly kids when you need them!

I guess this girl hasn't changed all that much.  I'm a little long in the tooth for skiing but I still like me a good, fast boat and I still like picking blueberries.  I'm even still comfortable around bears!

“I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.” 
― Laura Ingalls Wilder

I'm sharing the simplicity with:  Wordless Wednesday