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august time

Bluebs, Grandma Haskins always called them. Her fingers were as gnarled as the branches of an old apple tree, but she would scoop a handful out of a bucket and quickly thumb them into either the keeper bowl or the discard, brushing away the small leaves and stems as she went. It was hard to pick over the pails used by the men in the family, especially my father, who liked to "squabble" them off the wild, high bushes in someone's pasture. Needless to say, "squabbling" meant perhaps a dozen berries picked at a time, along with a dozen leaves or bits of dead branches. His blueberry harvest was huge and a mess. So, the women grumbled a bit as they sat on Grandma's porch and sorted, but mostly they talked about this, that and everything.

With too many cucumbers, many cultivated blueberries to pick, lots of weeds to pull and a lawn that grows even when it doesn't rain, poor Rose is quite neglected in the early days of her marriage. Perhaps she will reappear and I will still be able to hear her when we get to the Cape for two weeks. "Rose Runs Away" is nearly finished, but so far I do not see the finale. So I have to keep remembering Milt saying, "It will end when it ends," a promise that holds little comfort!

With drought in May and deluge after deluge in June, the garden is a mixed bag. The beautiful pea plants, green and starting to attach their tendrils to the fence, went brown and rotten even as the blossoms started to come. The first beans look scruffy and produced warped beans. But carrots, potatoes, lettuce, peas, cukes, onions and tomatoes seem to be thriving. And at least two winter squash are there, along with one sugar pumpkin. Last year, the pumpkins grew vines and no orange globes at all.

Pat's tomato soup is on the stove and needs a stir.
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