Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The harvest ...

Last weekend, my Niece could hardly stand to finish Her dinner,so eager was She to get out into the backyard and help me, as She had been promised She could, to harvest the ripe Concord grapes.

She quickly dispatched the low-hanging ones, of course popping the purpley-est ones into Her mouth along the way. Then She took care of the ones that She could reach from a chair.

Since I have no ladder, the rest of them hanging from the top of the arbor posed a problem. Ah, but not to an enterprising nine-year-old!I was quickly drafted to put Her upon my shoulders.

"Am I too heavy?" She asked several times. With my face full of grape leaves and with bits of stems and detritus raining down upon me, I answered back, firmly:

"Absolutely not."

It was a bit of a fib. She is nine now, as noted, not five. My back and shoulders started to go numb fairly soon, but I gritted my teeth and said nothing, as She happily plucked and pulled grapes somewhere in the leaves above my head and I kept my grip upon Her ankles to prevent disaster.

Not if every disc in my back screamed at me was I going to give this child, who has been teased about Her weight [which weight, I hasten to add, is absolutely normal for Her age], any notion that She is too heavy.

So we persevered until She had a great big bag stuffed full of ripe, sweet Concord grapes.

"I hope," I told my Beloved later, "that She has a memory to cherish for a lifetime from this."

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