To be considered “different” has always been my lot in life. When my troubles were expressed, those around me declared that “everybody has problems”, inferring that these difficulties were not a significant source of “difference”. I suspect that this credo, rather than representing a philosophy, served to politely say “shut up and put up”. When my natural interests and talents, sources of personal joy, were expressed, the “you are different” and “you are weird” kicked in; this was not considered a positive trait. Suddenly I was no longer a member of the “everybody” crowd. In this way, I learned to cherish my difference, and eschew being a member of the “everybody”. It only made sense.

One of my “differences” was in the things that I enjoyed as a child, which included the deep satisfaction I felt in picking wild fruits and berries with my Granny and my Aunts. I loved to roam the byways with them, picking wild strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, chokecherries, and high bush cranberries. Picking wild fruits is a laborious, time consuming activity, that is on the surface of it and true enough. A lot of energy is expended for low yields. The benefits that I reaped were intangible, and very real to me. The companionship of picking wild fruits and berries with a loved one is one of silent affinity; it extends beyond the corporeal human presence to include the soft earth beneath one’s feet, the gentle sky above one’s head, the touch, sound, and aroma of the wild flora and fauna within which one finds oneself. For me, picking wild fruits and berries is to experience communion. Picking wild fruits and berries feeds my soul with a quiet joy.

Yesterday we visited the camp. Attila and I sat under the trees, a deep thirst-slaking silence between us, taking in the distant wave of the wind across the fields, the chattering leaves above us, the dappled sunlight, and the occasional bird call. We let that wild peace soak into us.

As we sat there I noticed a chokecherry tree in the field across the road. The fruit was fully ripened, flashing a deep red as the tree’s leaves fluttered.

I rooted around in the camp box, found a plastic cup, and headed across the road to harvest some of the chokecherries. After picking all the cherries I could reach, my cup was half full.

Chokecherries are bitter sweet, more bitter than sweet. I like them raw, but I like chokecherry jelly better. However, I did not have enough chokecherries to make a jelly, so I made syrup instead. Delicious! This is a taste from my early childhood, when Granny’s chokecherry jelly was often on her table at breakfast, and for bedtime snacks. On my tongue it tastes like love.

Fresh Chokecherries

I also noticed a few bushes with ripening high bush cranberries in the distant fields. Since we have lots of jams and jellies in our stores at the moment, I decided not to pick them for jelly, not this year.

The trip to the camp had an ulterior motive. We are continuing to purge at the country house. We had a full car load of perfectly functional items that we no longer use. We donated them to the “dump store”, where these items are available to local residents for the price of a donation. The donation goes to the local Volunteer Fire Department. The donation will lighten our load when it is time to move, and conceivably benefit local people.

That was how we spent Attila’s one day off work.

Today I discovered a new little thing, or not so little thing, about how the other half lives… a problem, and a solution, I never knew existed! It just never came up in casual conversation, I wonder why. Can you guess what it is before clicking on the link?

Worldly Distractions


Date: 8:00 AM EDT Monday 24 August 2015
Condition: Sunny
Pressure: 100.8 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 17.2°C
Dewpoint: 15.9°C
Humidity: 92%
Wind: WSW 11 km/h


“There is a healthful hardiness about real dignity that never dreads contact and communion with others, however humble.”
Washington Irving
1783 – 1859

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TopsyTurvy (Teri)

Hi, Maggie. There’s no link at the bottom of your post. At least not for me.

Had to smile at being different. I’ve never made an effort to be different, it’s just something I’ve always been. My choices are often different from other people’s choices. Like rolling down a hill in an arboretum as a 30-something adult. Not many would do that, or could get up laughing when you end up in a mud puddle at the bottom of the hill. (Hindsight: there were sprinklers watering other hills.) Or choosing to let people show me who/what they are rather than taking someone else’s opinion about the person. Or getting more satisfaction out of sitting in a garden or at the beach than most would get out of fine foods and expensive cars.

We do have one favorite that we semi-share, the memories of picking berries in childhood. I remember the smell of warm earth, green bushes, dust from the roads, as my friends and I would go pick berries. We would usually just eat them as we went but sometimes we’d pick enough to bring home and be made into pies. I spent many years doing this. That and laying in a local meadow watching the clouds go by were two of my favorite past times as a child.

Oh. I got the request for a telephone number over on FB, today. It has a ‘close box’ X to the far left of the yellowish box. I had to hit the X twice but the box did eventually close.

It sounds like Attila is feeling better. Hope so.

Bex Crowell

No I don’t know what it is, and there is no “link” to click on either! Just the words “Wordly Distractions” – but it won’t click. So now you have me hanging here… wondering…. Maggie! Tell it and put me/us out of our wondering-misery!

My favorite part of this entry was “…the chattering leaves above us…” I love that.


Bex Crowell

Ok, I found it. The link doesn’t show up as a link UNLESS you hover your pointer over it! I found it by looking at your HTML source… now that is a subject I would NEVER have imagined in a million years Maggie! Has Attila tried it? Does it work?

TopsyTurvy (Teri)

LOL! I later saw the reference to “swamp crotch” in your keywords, which got me to researching. Good thing too, as even having read about swamp crotch when I found that link it was a bit startling – though not entirely out of context. 😉

Could be the problem is somewhat tied to Attila’s immune system being a bit low, as well as all the hard work he does out in the heat. Thank goodness things are starting to cool down.

TopsyTurvy (Teri)

Maggie, thought you’d find this interesting with talking about various motor-assisted ways of getting around.

crochetlady or Lee Ann

Thanks to that link. Dear hubby has been having a bit of a problem that we have been trying to control with prescription cream. I thought it was what your link referred to, but this is the first year this problem has been a problem. Thanks for your help!