Monday, June 02, 2008

Tastes Like Summer to Me...

Blackberries. Oh, yeah! They do taste like summer to me.

When I was kid, I lived for weeks or months of the summer in the Sierras. Wild blackberries grew everywhere up there, in green, tangled patches down by the river. And lining the dirt roads, each dark, lovely berry muted with its own film of dust. I couldn't be bothered to wash them. I'd wipe them on my swimsuit or my t-shirt, leaving purple streaks my mom could never quite get out in the wash. And then I'd pop them in my mouth.

Oh, my. They were the taste of summer, those ripe dark dusty berries.

Sometimes, in those hot, lazy days, we'd all go out together--my granny, my mom, my Aunt Emma, my sister BJ, my cousins Jimmy and Johnny, and my baby brother, Paul, who loved to fish and always wore the same fishy-smelling orange shirt no matter how often my sister and I shrieked and moaned at his stinkyness. Each of us carried a pail or a pan stolen from the kitchen cupboard. We'd pick those ripe, purple berries for hours, heedless of the thorns, and come home with scratches all over our tanned, bare arms, smiling, pails full of berries.

Granny, Mom and Aunt Emma would make blackberry pie or maybe a cobbler. And jam to give us a sweet taste of summer all through the next winter.

Yesterday, I bought blackberries at the supermarket. No, they're not as sweet and heavy and amazing as the ones in my childhood. But they'll do. Each one brings a faint taste of memory, and a smile.

I'm curious. What tastes most like summer to you?

6 comments:

Rinda Elliott said...

Vine Ripened tomatoes. Store bought NEVER compares. Oh, I should go water my tomato plants...

Husker Kim said...

When my kids go to visit my parents in the summers they go to the neighbor lady's house and pick her blackberries. They come home with very similar stains on their clothes! I will from this day forth not give them such a hard time.

Hope your day is grand!

Hugs,

Husker Kim

Amy said...

A giant cold glass of iced tea while I sit on the porch and watch my kids run across the yard!

Christine Rimmer said...

Rinda, yes! And I love the smell of tomato vines, that green, slightly spicy scent. That smells like summer to me, too!

Christine Rimmer said...

Kim, it is funny how our best childhood memories are often just a cleanup challenge for the folks. Hugs to you, too, my friend!

Christine Rimmer said...

Amy, yes! I drink at least a quart of iced tea a day. But it would be even better if I were out on the porch watching my kids...