|A favorite haunt.. hunting for berries on Jack Ass Hill|
Sometimes memories can make you laugh until you cry….and this week I had such a memory. I thought about the end of summer and all the good times we had in the past including the yearly hut for “Elderberries”!
The first time I came in contact with elderberries was the second summer I lived in Eaton. I heard a knock on my back door, and there stood my neighbor Brownie. In her hand were two huge bags of elderberries. She had come over to inquire if I knew how to make elderberry wine.
Seems it was a banner year for elderberries, and she and my neighbor Nellie could remember their mothers making the wine for special occasions. I guess I looked like the guru of this type of knowledge.
Actually I did have winemaking supplies, and we did make Elderberry Wine! It was a banner year for elderberries, and I remember thinking it was a banner year for new friends too!
One time after Nellie’s death when Betty, Nellie’s daughter-in-law, lived in Nellie’s old house, Pauline came over to the house and said that Deb, a friend, had told her she could go elderberrying on her property. She claimed that there were loads of elderberry bushes up there and she didn’t pick them.
Brownie and Betty wanted to know if I knew where her house and the patch of bushes were. Well I did, and I also knew why the woman didn’t pick them, but we will get to that.
That morning I picked the ladies up, and off to the road the woman lived on. I took them down the slope to where the berry bushes were, and sure enough there was a mess of berries. We picked and picked and picked. Finally we had filled all our bags full..... My eyes of course were full of elderberry pies to come.
As were leaving Brownie said, “Why, that woman leaving all these berries here like this—it’s a crying shame.” Betty said, "It's a SIN.... why doesn’t she pick them!”
I paused for effect and casually replied, “Because of all the snakes that live in this patch of bushes.”
With that, old Betty kicked up her heals and beat a path for the car at double speed.
Betty later claimed that if she had seen one of those wiggly creatures she would have made a path out of the patch the size of a two-lane highway!
P S.... I didn’t tell them that the kids told the woman that there were snakes there just to scare her!
The video.....last fall one of Brownie's granddaughters came to visit me and we went to old Jack Ass hill to relive those great days of summer...good friends..neighbors...laughter and " Elderberry Time."
Enjoy a trip back!