Fresh Air

Country - - CONTENTS - SHIRLEY NEITZEL Grand Rapids, Michi­gan

Ex­pe­ri­ence the joys of coun­try life in this reader roundup.

I knew it was time to pick rasp­ber­ries when my fa­ther came in from the field at the noon din­ner hour with his cap in his hand. Mother would take it, pour the berries into a bowl and an­nounce that we girls could go pick­ing. My sis­ter and I spent the af­ter­noon talk­ing and laugh­ing as we climbed rock piles dot­ting a field that had the best rasp­berry bushes. It was a re­prieve from snap­ping beans or pick­ing potato bugs. When I grew up, I moved to the city and got my fruit at the gro­cery store. Then my hus­band and I bought a home in a ru­ral area, and I once again en­coun­tered wild rasp­ber­ries. Fresh berries are mar­velous raw, topped with milk and a sprin­kle of sugar or added to break­fast ce­real. I fa­vor mak­ing them into jam. On a be­low-zero win­ter morn­ing, I hold a sparkling jar to the light. With the first bite of jam on warm toast, I’m back in the fields lis­ten­ing to a cat­bird cry.

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